The Sudden Stillness of Light

    Artistic residences and main house


    Albelheira, Azores

The orange cycle in agriculture had an impact on the region of St. Michael Island in the nineteenth century. The farmers removed the rocks from the ground in order to plant and build walls with those volcanic stones, capturing the heat of the day and transferring it to the vulnerable orange plants.

When the stones were in large quantities, due to the various strata of lava corridors beneath the soil, these man-made structures were increased to allow circulation on top of those wall structures called lagarto, with carts to collect and transport the fruits, and higher structures called mirantes, castle towers, to allow the view of the boats docking on the harbour and be the first farmers in line to sell the oranges to the British seamen. The volcanic rock structure on this farm north of Ponta Delgada is particularly magnificent, and on top of it is a ruin of an old house with a cistern and water collection tank.
As with Kafka's Castle, the project calls for a new dwelling to repair the ruin in two ways: one that embeds and the other that gently gets near and observes intently.
Two new artistic houses emerge from the wall construction in the centre, forming new relationships with the spaces they expand into. The front lawn of the entry, with an L-shaped welcome area and a lifting wall leading into the little forests behind it.
A wooden cloud, darkened with burned cryptomeria wood, floats to the south, beneath a large Japanese tree, facing the perimeter property wall, to boost the visitor's hopes and projects. As cosy and defiant as Kafka's Castle's wanderer.


João Luís Albergaria

Project Leader

Francesco Ugolotti




Andreia Teixeira

Filippo Dozzi

Monica Pacheco


HDP - Paulo Fidalgo

Pedro Nunes


Carlos Tavares

Ana Fortuna


J Serpa / Eng. Renato Leça