Quinta da Faísca – Tourist Accomodation


2017 – 2022


Portugal, Alijó





After the re-structuring of the Adega da Quinta da Faísca was complete, the need for visitor’s accommodation became apparent.

All of the estate was already occupied. Almost entirely. By the vines, the existing houses and the winery itself. Also, by olive and almond trees.

That left the areas where it was, almost impossible to grow vines and then, the nearly endless view.

That view had to be brought into the new accommodation. Completely. Or at least, as much as possible.

A concrete slab, connected to the ground and then supported by metal beams, created the veranda, above which, four small apartments were erected.

We are suspended in the landscape, which has come in and has taken us out into the open. Almost a leap.

Everything in timber: wall structures which blend with ceilings, the windows, the external cladding.

Roof and flashings in zinc. Exquisite metal work.

All built with care and great professionalism.


A rigour demanded and understood.

The four apartments can interconnect, to create different configurations and organisation; versatility in occupation and use.

Above the Bathroom and Kitchenette, a Mezzanine opens over the Living Room and out to the open.

Outside, the pathways are made of washed concrete and the garden, of slate and native trees. Dry, very dry, is this Alto Douro wine region.

A water tank, where guests can cool down, re-uses old, beautiful granite stones. Four small beaches, let you enjoy the outdoors.

To the East, on a terrace overlooking the landscape, the ten-meter-long wooden table under the shelter of a vine is somewhere to hang out and take it all in.

All that emptiness fills us up.

The good wine and the rolling of the landscape remind us, that the River Douro is flowing just down below and that it is the cause of this Leap into the Open.


It’s not difficult to make architecture in such a beautiful place. It is already there.

You just need to Leap.


Gaia, 17 August 2022.

Carlos Castanheira

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Carlos Castanheira

Offfice in Portugal:

CC&CB – Architects, Lda.

Project Coordinator:

Diana Vasconcelos,

Luis Trigueiros Reis,

Orlando Sousa

Project Team:

Fernanda Sá

João Figueiredo

Inês Brito

Nuno Rodrigues

Inês Cabrita

Jorge Pinheiro

Joel Dinis

Diana Velho

3D models and renderings:

Germano Vieira



Paulo Fidalgo


Construction and

Engineering Projects, Lda.


Pedro Nunes

Diâmetro & Cálculo –

Construction and Engineering Projects, Lda.


Luis Matos

Igemáci –

Engineering, Lda.

Fire Safety:

Fernandes da Silva

Xamix –

Safety and Engineering, Lda.


António Meireles –

Logoacústica Engineering

Construction Company:

Cunha e Mendes Cunha, Lda.

Construction Area:

816 m2