Nestled in the stunning mountain valley of Serra de Estrela near the town of Oleiros in central Portugal, Vale de Moses presents an opportunity for guests to escape their hasty and complex daily routines. Surrounded by the endless pine forest on the horizon, the retreat offers a magical, spiritual experience to connect with nature while practicing healthy wellbeing with others. As part of the wellness retreat, the original local Xisto stone cottages that were recently restored have been the feature and highlight of the family farm. While continuing to celebrate this tradition, we are proposing an eco-friendly design that not only accommodates additional practice and healing space, but also shares that same spiritual and immersive connection to its surrounding natural elements.
Our design is conceptualized and developed around the idea of being panoramic. Guests are not only a part of the immersive experience the retreat already offers, but also encouraged to develop an elevated sensory that is visual, physical, and spiritual. With respect to the local landscape, the building sits on a few posts that lift the structure off the ground with minimum excavation. Room programs are organized in a radius fashion around a central space that guests are able to navigate easily. The main yoga hall features a wide-angle view to the beautiful Serra de Estrela mountain, taking advantage of the building’s elevated position on a cliff side. The kitchenette is also designed to maximize the panoramic connections to the outside as it floats above wildflowers and vegetation. The flexibility of bi-fold windows encourage guests to reach for freshness from the Zen Garden, literally. Various eco-friendly construction techniques and cost-effective materials are implemented as the design acknowledges the wholehearted effort in restoring the original cottages and establishing the forested garden farm.
The Panoramic is a sculptural element that is unique and forward-thinking in its own way, but with reference and respect to the region’s history and Vale de Moses’ mission.
LOCATION Oleiros, Portugal
PROJECT TYPE Hospitality Retreat New Construction / Competition Entry