Text description provided by the architects. Situated in a landscape, classified as one of Human Heritage by UNESCO, on the island of Pico in the Azores, is the rural dwelling, Solarenga (House of Cheer) long-associated with the cultivation of vines and dating back to the eighteenth century.
In adapting it to create The Centre for the Interpretation of the Landscape of Vines it seemed important to us to retain the atmosphere of Casa Solarenga and explore its alternation with that of the new spaces added to the existing structure which, without detracting from its qualities, might serve as a complement.
On the ground floor we succeeded in gaining an appropriate exhibition space, coated, on the exterior, with darkened glass, in order to avoid the construction of openings and, thereby, function as an extension of the solid form of the original. The structural reinforcement of the building was achieved by using specially produced limestone-based mortar, together with steel rods located adjacent to the pre-existing wooden supports.
While the old spaces will have their elements of construction as fundamental to their identity, the new spaces will have a uniform surface on both ceilings and walls, transforming them into continuous spaces, which will, in not breaching the essential defining logic of the original, make it easier to read the pre-existing object.