On the 17th June 2017 a major wildfire started at Pedrógão Grande and spread through the forest to Figueiró dos Vinhos, Castanheira de Pêra, Sertã, Penela, Góis and Pampilhosa da Serra affecting around 500 houses (259 of which were primary homes). 64 people died trying to escape the fires.
Following the tragedy, citizens and institutions made donations to help the reconstruction of the houses and lives affected by the fires. Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, responsible for one of the major funds, contracted Working with the 99%, Coop to provide technical assistance to the houses' reconstruction process, in which Ateliermob made the projects for 7 houses.
More than just rebuilding the lost houses as they were, our main goal was to improve the living conditions of these communities, with particular attention to the fact that most of the population was elderly.
António Nunes' House
The preservation of the stone walls was an important principle in this process, in order to keep the memory of the destroyed houses, where stone proved to be the most resilient material, as well as the strong image of the constructions in this area of Portugal.
The volume and the layout of the pre-existing building was kept as well as stone walls, changing only the necessary to accommodate the contemporary infrastructures and a more functional distribution. The main entrance is located on the north side, marked by a covered exterior path that connects the home and the covered exterior space where the old wood oven was rebuilt, keeping the continuity between spaces.
The two story house, drawn within the perimeter of the pre-existing construction, centers the program on the upper floor, leaving the lower one to storage. The spatial organization is marked by the main entrance accessing immediately to the living room flowing into the kitchen and dining area. Here, the fireplace is the focus point of the social space of the house. A big southwest oppening is directly related to the patio giving access to the exterior and allowing the natural light to come in.