charred wood and weathered steel encase nicholas burns' winery in northern portugal

charred wood and weathered steel encase nicholas burns' winery in northern portugal

Quinta do Mosteiro Adega by studio nicholas burns

 

On the hilly landscape of the Minho region in northern Portugal, sits discreetly Quinta do Mosteiro Adega, a winery building designed by Studio Nicholas Burns. Located within a large family estate, the project is dedicated to the private production of the region’s typical Vinho Verde, respecting the natural cycles of the adjacent vineyard and the local wine makers’ decade-long experience. Embedded in the side of the hill, where the earth provides a stable temperature, Quinta do Mosteiro Adega recreates an ideal climate. In contrast, a landscaped wall on the western side provides shade from the afternoon sun. The studio has been working closely with winemakers to achieve a flawless production process based on local expertise, enhanced by a wood and steel design that enables gravity-fed production, keeping the resulting wine pure and rich.

charred wood and weathered steel encase nicholas burns' winery in northern portugal
all images © Mathyas Kurmann

 

 

two-floor winery where wood, steel, slate, and glass unite

 

Quinta do Mosteiro Adega unfolds over two levels, connected by a double-height section. The process of wine-making flows from the top to the bottom thanks to a clever use of gravity, allowing the ground floor to receive the juice from above. The juice then settles in tanks at the lower level, where stems and skins are separated and composted for reuse in the vineyards. The technical activity takes place at the lower level, a discreet space for machinery and storage. Above, on the ground floor, alongside a professional kitchen that doubles as a laboratory for wine tasting, Studio Nicholas Burns (see more here) includes a reception area, a dining room, and restrooms. 

charred wood and weathered steel encase nicholas burns' winery in northern portugal
Quinta do Mosteiro Adega winery building in northern Portugal

 

 

Functionality is a priority, but experience is not dismissed. Fully glazed walls open up generous views across the estate, framed by windows to reveal segments of landscape and trees. Meanwhile, a careful selection of charred wood, weathered steel, and a natural slate roof recalls the surrounding forest and agricultural spirit while exuding a refined aesthetic. The rusting steel and slate mainly reference the other buildings on the estate and provide a robust material weathering over time, allowing it to gently settle into the landscape and highlighting its agricultural nature. The charred timber – a local oak – provides climate protection while the color blends into the shadows, visually reducing its scale as it recedes into the hill and forest. The traditional roof typology is abstracted and used modernly, with edges stretching out further, abstracting the material, thanks to a brigade steel structure and terminating with thin, elegant edges.

charred wood and weathered steel encase nicholas burns' winery in northern portugal
charred wood clads the facades

 

 

finely crafted and climate-controlled interiors

 

The interiors of the winery building are calm and atmospheric, with Venetian plaster made by local artisans used on the walls and Portuguese oak on the ceiling. The plaster walls play with light and shadows, adding warmth to the winery, while the oak ceiling and patterns add texture and improve the acoustics throughout. Meanwhile, the Erco lighting system excellently serves the winery activities and can be dimmed down and softened for dinners and more intimate gatherings. Up-lights reflect on the materials, drawing down the textures and colors into the space.

charred wood and weathered steel encase nicholas burns' winery in northern portugal
the process of wine making flows from the top to the bottom thanks to a clever use of gravity

 

 

The natural and the built are interconnected and mutually critical to the design by Studio Nicholas Burns. No trees were removed, and all existing boulders were maintained and integrated into the winery. A large granite boulder was revealed during excavation and marked the entrance from the hand-chipped stone pathway that settles into the wild landscape, bringing the forest floor down the hill and around the building in an embrace. Temperature control means there is no need for artificial means. The wine rooms are insulated, avoiding any refrigeration or mechanical cooling. The dark greenery and moss of the hill help maintain the perfect humidity levels while the breeze flows through for natural ventilation. Low vents and doors on the higher side facing the vineyard and high vents on either end of the roof allow the air to come up through the winery and to the void, creating a thermal convection current that releases the air through the roof. This is assisted by mechanical vents, allowing the thermal convection to work efficiently in case of minimum contrast between the air pressures.

charred wood and weathered steel encase nicholas burns' winery in northern portugal
the interiors are calm and atmospheric, with fully glazed walls

 

 

The winery building has been crafted with the same care needed for winemaking, informed by respect for natural processes and the surrounding landscape. It provides a space for contemplation and gratitude, gracefully and silently nested between the hill and the vineyard. A space to connect with nature and to celebrate the simple rituals of agriculture and hospitality. Studio Nicholas Burns has been working on the estate for years, previously on a private chapel and meditation room, which is now connected to the winery through a landscaped walkway, as well as a private house – Casa da Piscina, and a larger residence – Casa Principal, currently being built.

 

winery-northern-portugal-designboom-full

charred wood and weathered steel encase nicholas burns' winery in northern portugal
Portuguese oak runs along the ceiling

charred wood and weathered steel encase nicholas burns' winery in northern portugal
refined aesthetics imbue the interiors

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ARCHITECTURE IN PORTUGAL (366)

STEEL ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN (212)

WINERY ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN (68)

WOOD AND TIMBER ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN (879)

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