Vale-un-Veil —

Summer 2020
Project Team : Kevin Hai, Nick Reddon
Shortlisted for Monte d’Oiro Wine Tasting Pavilion Competition

Situated at the boundary between the Quinta do Monte d’Oiro Winery and its expansive vineyards, Vale-un-Veil attempts to reconcile the urban condition of the archetypical, European plaza present within the site and the raw, elemental landscape beyond. This is achieved by the singular, formal gesture of a monumental wall that is positioned between the existing, production facilities and the site of the pavilion, physically and metaphorically separating and clarifying the experience of the vineyard from the mechanics of the winery. Conceptually, Vale-un-Veil considers the winery’s relationship to the surrounding vineyards by using its architectural elements to veil and unveil successive parts of the landscape, slowly revealing the poetry of the estate.

The architecture is conceived as an armature for perceptual construction of the landscape, using the abstract collision and tense separation of planes to frame and filter moments and views (an architectural theme that is prominent in many canonical examples of modern Portuguese architecture). These moments of filtration are organized along the primary corridor that is produced by the primal elements of the project: massive walls of concrete and locally quarried limestone which saliently guide visitors in a linear fashion from the plaza. Archetypical, Portuguese pavement extends from the plaza throughout the length of the project, which, together with leaks of light along a sheltered corridor, create a clear and ritualistic procession from winery to pavilion. Breaks in the walls allow entry into different spaces organized by different forms of human interactions and conceptions of the land. Visitors move from the urban condition of the adjacent square, to a manicured grid of trees on an existing terrace, to a loosely-organized rock garden with a veil of overgrown drains, before finally concluding in the tasting room, where expansive views of the surrounding landscape are revealed.

The resulting structure engenders a composed sequence from the urban to the natural, slowly revealing the differentiated layers of the accompanying landscape. With a concerted interest in the winery’s relationship to its surroundings, Vale-un-Veil mediates the site’s inherent complexities in order to produce clarity in the land while respecting its unique genius loci.