Collection by Patrick Sisson

This Modern Coastal Escape Sits Within 18th-Century Stone Walls

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A Portuguese summer home exemplifies adaptive reuse and the romance of an untamed coast.

“The balance of man and nature is still something very powerful on this island.” Architects Ines Vieira da Silva and Miguel Vieira speak in reverent tones about Pico Island, where a long-in-the-works summer home designed by their firm, SAMI-arquitectos, was finished after eight years of work. Since Portuguese settlers arrived in the 15th century and set down roots on the island’s volcanic soil, the small outcropping in the Azores has been a place where “people had to have the strength to transform a very adverse context in order to survive,” Vieira da Silva says. That romance with the windswept coast, and the contrasting elements of sea, sky, and stone, could just as easily be applied to the E/C House, a low-slung escape set inside a stone shell that was made from the remains of an 18th-century coastal farmhouse. Dwell spoke to Vieira da Silva about the roughhewn structure.

Initially unassuming, the E/C home appears hidden from the road, perched on the sloping edge of the island and...
In keeping with the island’s rugged character, the new home was pared down to the essentials.
The new concrete exterior has already been transformed by the rain and humidity of the Azores, and now sports an aged...
Built as part of a functional farmhouse, the original building's ground floor was used to store food and animals, a...
Strategic openings on the ground floor provide a clear view of the ocean.
The quiet, minimalist kitchen features a wall in the same “criptoméria" wood used for the bookshelf in the living room.
At dusk, the home's light illuminates the lines and layers of the aged stone, casting shadows on the lawn.
Warm wooden walls ensure the simple bedroom setup, a low mattress next to a Muuto Leaf table lamp, offers more comfort...
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