Aldeia Galega da Merceana: Atelier Central transforms historic winery into serene wine tourism oasis.

_project: Aldeia Galega da Merceana
_architecture: Atelier Central Arquitectos
_location: Portugal 

Aldeia Galega da Merceana project, designed by Atelier Central, is a blend of architectural innovation, historical preservation, and nature. The central design principle, as described by the architect, involved "recovering the old winery, maintaining its striking original image" and transforming it into a space conducive for wine tourism, boasting a reception, living and dining areas, along with a kitchen and social bathroom hidden behind the original concrete wine storage vats.

The project maintains a deep respect for the historical and cultural essence of Aldeia Galega da Merceana. This was achieved by heeding the architect's sentiment to "respect the memories of the pre-existences" and acknowledging the potent presence of the original winery, and the beaten earth path that visually framed the entrance. As the architect noted, the challenge was to "remodel the old winery in a state of ruin, known as Casal da Vinha Grande", and adapt it for use as a wine tourism unit.

The new volume, housing the bedrooms, was a distinct addition, described by the architect as "a regional stone block selectively sculpted" - raised above the level of the vineyard. By semi-burying this new volume, the design "assumes its individuality by distancing and semi-burying the extension volume, connecting it to the winery through a hidden tunnel", thus minimizing its visual impact and maintaining respect for the original structure.

Material choices were key in connecting the old and the new, with the architect emphasizing that "The choice of finishes follows the principles of the initial Concept that structured the whole project". The existing materials were respected and preserved in the original building, while the new volume was subtly integrated into the landscape using regional stone mosaic. The connection of the old and new volumes is made through a "visible concrete underground tunnel, with a fluid and organic design" - echoing the theme of winemaking.

Notably, the architect takes the most significant pride in the project from the collaborative efforts, stating that the notable contributions were having a client who "trusted us with the Project", enthusiastic local government officials, and a dedicated construction team that "focused on building well what we envisioned".

Aldeia Galega da Merceana project intertwines old and new, creating a serene space for people to enjoy, live, and be happy. It is a celebration of architectural prowess and the power of thoughtful, respectful design.


_article written by Daniela Moreira Silva
_film by Building Pictures 
_curatorship by Architecture Hunter
_cover image by Fernando Guerra
_drawings by Atelier Central Arquitectos 

1. Implantation

2. Plan

3. Elevations 1

4. Elevations 2

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