Pedra Silva Arquitectos - Aethos Ericeira, surrounded by lush fields with unrivalled ocean views
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Aethos Ericeira, surrounded by lush fields with unrivalled ocean views

Pedra Silva Arquitectos

Hospitality  /  Completed
Pedra Silva Arquitectos

The project is an intervention to an existing building located on a protected site where new construction was not permitted. From our first site visit we were blown away by the location and potential the site offered. The original building was lost in several extensions with conflicting architectural solutions and a mix between traditional and modern elements. Our starting point was to strip down the buildings and separate essential elements from the clutter. This provided a better understanding of the existing complex, allowing us to give a new identity to each building whilst maintaining the overall aesthetic coherence of the development. During the design process our priority was to play with light, mass, texture, and materiality to enhance the features and elevate the project.

Developing the landscape was an integral part of the project as we wanted to create an open communication and flow between the interior and exterior and take advantage of the unique location. We worked closely with Topiaris, the Landscape Architect, to achieve a fully integrated design solution, respecting the protected site by using local species that required little or no water. The hard landscape was massively changed, specifically around the pool area with the creation of stepped podiums, as well as the demolition of an idle basement, promoting not only a visual connectivity but also access around the various buildings. In addition, use of similar materials, textures and colour pallete between the landscape and the buildings allowed for a sense of harmony and continuity.

The choice to reuse and adapt an existing building is frequently motivated by its cost effectiveness or building constraints, but is also a responsible choice in terms of minimising this impact while accommodating the need for an updated space. A deep intervention in an outdated building is also an opportunity to improve its ongoing operational impact, by bringing it up to current standards in terms of insulation, energy efficiency and use of renewable energy. Ensuring the building, and its materials and elements have an appropriately long lifespan, is another crucial aspect of responsible use of resources, something that was particularly relevant for us in this location severely exposed to winds and sea water. Durability was therefore a major concern when selecting all exterior materials.

Considering the principle of identifying old and new, we first separated the parts of the existing building which still retained their original identity from those that felt more contemporary. In areas identified as traditional construction, we felt it crucial to preserve the character of the original build. We wanted to preserve and enhance the archways, by adjusting their proportion, depth and mass, becoming a defining aspect of the space. A further objective in keeping this distinction, was providing windows with their own visual identity, designing them as metallic boxes protruding from the facades. The other key iteration was moving the main entrance, once located at the central building, to the sea facing part of the building, connecting the Atlantic to the arrival of new guests. The existing arches in this space had no expression and were deformed in scale. We gave them proportion, texture, and depth, to emphasize the presence of the walls and protect the space from direct sunlight during summer. The result is a space that has well defined architectural boundaries, and at the same time delicate, playing with shadows and light. A final characteristic was the nearly complete demolition of the existing basement on the edge of the pool area, allowing for a connection between the pool and hotel building, inviting interconnected levels, while simultaneously creating an internal garden, additional rooms and a spa with views to the exterior.

'When we came across the property, we immediately knew it was a unique opportunity – a secluded destination on top of a 40-metre cliff, surrounded by lush fields with unrivalled ocean views', said CEO and one of the founders. 'The building, a former farmhouse turned into a rehab centre, had been abandoned for many years.' 'Despite its bad shape, we saw huge potential.' (in another publication)

Credits

 Ericeira
 Portugal
 AETHOS Hotels
 Hospitality
 09/2022
 3745 mq
 Confidential
 Pedra Silva Arquitectos
 Pedra Silva Arquitectos
 Landscape architecture: Topiaris // Interior design and FF&E: Astet Studio
 Francisco Nogueira Photography

Curriculum

Pedra Silva Arquitectos are a Lisbon based full-service architectural studio, committed to providing architectural and interior design services to numerous building typologies. Our projects are tailored individually, with an exceptional degree of architectural design, technical quality and rigorous cost control. We aim to meet the highest possible standards of excellence with a team dedicated to to the deepest level of involvement in the design of our buildings.

We have been recognised by numerous nominations and awards since 2004. Our latest awards include:
Archdaily Building of the Year, 2011;
IIDA--best of Asia Pacific Design Awards (Healthcare), 2015;
Finalists for the Archdaily Building of the Year Awards (Offices), 2016;
Lusophone Architecture and Interior Design Award for the Healthcare category, 2020;
BUILD Design + Build Awards for Most Innovative Architectural Studio Portugal, 2023

https://www.pedrasilva.com


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