Tea Room by João Mendes Ribeiro

Tea Room (2000-2002) erected in castle ruin complex, Montemor-o-Velho, João Mendes Ribeiro, located in Paço das Infantas, Portugal | The Hardt


Tea Room erected in castle ruin complex, Montemor-o-Velho, João Mendes Ribeiro, Paço das Infantas, Portugal. It is believed that the paço (palace) of Montemor-o-Velho was first built in the 12th century. It is now well established that the paço was the object of a dispute, at the beginning of the 13th century, between Dom Afonso III and his sisters, Infantas Dona Teresa, Dona S, ncha and Dona Mafalda. The current name of the place – Paço das Infantas – originates from this quarrel. Its ruins rise well above the southeast walls of the castle, overlooking the river Mondego’s valley. The proposal for the construction of a Tea House in the surrounding areas of the Paço das Infantas is the result of the analysis of the monument, attempting to clarify its historical significance by means of a contemporary use. By creating a novel pathway along the walls, the former entrance of the castle is evoked. The inner space of the ruins is occupied by a virtually weightless building, made innocuous by its geometry and the way it stands free from the surrounding ruins, which are perceived as its actual walls. The construction consists of a glass box confined by two horizontal planes – a metal roof and a wooden floor – joined together by a volume comprising the service areas. The pavement extends southeast in a platform that doubles as a terrace elevated above ground, thereby detaching the construction from its surroundings. Ultimately, this approach creates an autonomous construction, which is valued by a strong geometric and material language, simultaneously ascribing a new and coherent meaning to the ruins.



Photos by Edgar Martins, João Mendes Ribeiro

Tea House, Paço das Infantas, Montemor-o-Velho Castle, Portugal
Project year: 1997
Construction year: 1999-2000
Client: Instituto Português do Património Arquitectónico, Montemor-o-Velho City Hall
Location: Montemor-o-Velho Castle, Portugal
Author: João Mendes Ribeiro
Collaboration: Carlos Antunes, Cidália Silva, Desirée Pedro, José António Bandeirinha, Manuela Nogueira, Pedro Grandão

Total area – 90 m2 m2

Cost – 250 000€ €/m2




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Tea Room by João Mendes Ribeiro ruins portugal João Mendes Ribeiro Edgar Martins

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