Architects: ComA, Architecture and Design
Location: Penhas da Saúde, Serra da Estrela, Portugal
Type of Project: Youth Hostel
Structural Engineers: Engº Jorge Simões
Project Architect: Arch. Paulo Street, Arch. Hugo Guerreiro
Design Team: André Antunes, Bruno Marcelino
Planning supervisor: Pretago
Main contractor: António Ascensão Coelho & Filhos S.A.
Floor Area: 758.80 sqm
Total cost: 600,000.00€
Project Year: 2006-2009
Photographs: Nelson Garrido
ComA architects, had the challenge of designing an extension to the old youth Hostel, located in Penhas da Saúde, Serra da Estrela, the biggest mountain in Portugal.
This privileged site was the most important influence on the final form of this ambitious new hostel house with 694.10 sqm, twenty rooms, a living room and a other facilities that meet the needs of young guests.
The design is based in two fundamental principals: the relationship with the old youth Hostel build and the architecture surroundings. This bringed the new building into a strategic location, close enough to link with the old building, and far enough to be seen as an independent volume with singular views to the mountains.
This new architecture volume links perfectly with the local architecture, working as a contemporary interpretation of it.
They explored the site by introducing a volume of two-storey, based in a platform used as an exterior private guest promontório, which not constitute a visual barrier along the landscape and which aims to make the best use of natural light and views.
Hostel interior guides young guests into a dramatic low cost space. Having entered into this environment, it´s clear that architects main concern was to focus on ways of approaching proportion and light and materials, and not in the development of a set of style.
Penhas da Saúde Youth Hostel, is far beyond an hostel, it reflects the new concept of slow travel and proves that unusual sites are an extraordinary way to test new ideas.
This latest addition to Penhas da Saude landscape scene is the type of minor adjustment, which did not go unnoticed and which request for relaxation and a different concept of youth staying.