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Casa Pereiro Do Cha

Wandering through the rural and wild landscapes of Alentejo, a Portuguese town about 10 km from the ocean, one will be enveloped by olive-green hills, scorched by heat and crossed by dirt roads.
Amidst the dominant dusty green, one might notice a bluish sparkle whipping across the field of vision: the culprit can only be Casa Pereiro Do Cha, a modern dwelling conceived by architect Valerio Olgiati, who, through the application of blue quartzite, has bestowed shimmering reflections upon his creation.

the project

A building that fits perfectly into the surrounding context: this was Olgiati’s design intent and, looking at the final result, he has realized it with great skill. It’s not just a matter of color: certainly, the delicate gray chosen blends perfectly with the rural environment in which it is nestled, but what makes Casa Pereiro Do Cha seem like one with the rugged hills of Alentejo is its spatial organization. No internal corridors, but a single and elemental open space, where the connection between rooms is determined by the intuitive system of garden pathways: thus, the typical vegetation of the area dominates in all the courtyards, making it the absolute protagonist of the dwelling.
Furthermore, if we add the fact that Casa Pereiro Do Cha was conceived as a sort of platform, with a barely visible dwelling resembling a pavilion, the camouflage in the wild Portuguese nature seems complete: the only exception being the previously mentioned stone detail.

blue quartzite shines in the sunlight

Besides concrete, blue quartzite is the other material that composes the house designed by Olgiati. The choice is not random: it is a metamorphic rock derived from quartz-rich sandstone, distinguished not only by its hardness and resistance (which makes it perfect for outdoor environments) but also by its unique appearance, characterized by particular and suggestive blue and gray hues.
It is precisely these hues that welcome you into Casa Pereiro Do Cha. In the entrance area, there is a pool surrounded by blue quartzite: the goal was to create sparkling reflections between the water, sunlight, and the quartzite itself, in order to enhance its colorfulness. Mission absolutely accomplished: the interactions that the sun generates between the pool water and the characteristic shades of blue quartzite are the reason why the building manages to stand out, without being intrusive, in the context in which it is placed.

the study

Another element that characterizes Casa Pereiro Do Cha is the careful arrangement of the walls, the result of a careful study of spaces and seasonal movements of the sun. In fact, the protective walls surrounding the construction are all of different heights, for a dual purpose:

  1. Provide those inside with a unique view of the vast surrounding landscape: the walls have been designed to create different small visual frames, allowing one to enjoy the Alentejo hills from another perspective;
  2. Ensure shade during summers and as much sunlight as possible during winters: the architectural design of the structure was conceived from this functional principle, and consequently, the walls were arranged.