QBN house sits in the highest point and west limit of the family farm, in a rural and low-density area of Viana do Castelo.
The house is surrounded by the greenery of the farm, a landscape characterized by a large variety of trees, flowers, bushes, stone masonry terraces, slate paths, granite water tanks, cultivated fields and orchards.
The former construction, now refurbished to become the family house, had been a secondary building of the farm, previously used as a school, wine cellar and agricultural storage, at different periods of its history. Divided into two stone masonry juxtaposed volumes: a covered but open construction contiguous to the street and a two-storey building next to it.
Facing the street, there is the volume kept in slate masonry facade, in continuity with the existing external walls. The North side is finished with thermo-treated timber vertical strips to match the contiguous timber structured roof. The gable roof of the two-storey building has been changed to the presumably original hip roof, resulting in an increase volume and height of the facade.
Access to the house is made through the covered area, at the upper floor level, where one finds the entrance, the office and the passage to the main volume that hosts the common areas of the house and the playroom. The existing openings were kept and new ones were created so that these reveal the colours of the tree canopies to the inside of the house.
The main space of the house is the long room with 13,5m length and a sloped ceiling. This room has different areas: piano area, living and dining room. The dining area is highlighted by the birch plywood panels, which cover one wall and the sliding door to access the kitchen and continue into one of the kitchen cabinets, marking the way to the outside. On the lower floor are the private spaces of the house, 3 bedrooms and a living room with access to the garden.
More traditional solutions were chosen in an attempt to use natural and recyclable materials, such as lime-based plaster for the facades, timber window frames, timber roof structure, floor structure made with timber beams and solid wood panels boards, insulated with expanded cork granules and pavements finished with riga wood.
The refurbishment of the QBN house aimed to improve the living conditions without detracting the building’s character, keeping the harmony with the other constructions of the farm and respecting its integration into the surroundings.