Quinta do Pinhô was one of several quintas in the region that grew produce for the Monastery of Santa Maria de Salzedas, a monastery of Cistercian monks. At the time of the law extinguishing religious orders, decreed in 1834 by Joaquim António de Aguiar, earning him the nickname of Mata frades or “Friar Killer”, Quinta do Pinhô came under the public treasury and later passed into private hands.
Having been purchased, the quinta was remodelled to turn it into a family home. The quinta had no sitting rooms, only bedrooms, so the interior had to be reconfigured to adapt it for the use and comfort demanded of a contemporary home.
The exterior of the quinta has kept its imposing character, communicating the relation between the time when it was built and the present: the family coat of arms and the stone crucifix over the main gate; the ornamented fountain in the courtyard; the window seats opening up conversation venues between the inside and the outside. At Quinta do Pinhô the courtyard is like a butler who is the first to greet guests and hosts.
Prior to the intervention that took place, the butler was poorly dressed: simultaneously serving as kitchen garden, garden and entrance, whilst performing none of these roles in an adequate manner. The courtyard was completely repaved, the mishmash of stairs was replaced by one central staircase, lending gravitas and meaning to the volumes circling in its orbit. A small apartment and a swimming pool were built from scratch, nestling up against the original building, but in markedly modern lines and materials. This contrast between forms, eras and materials might result in a somewhat unpleasant imbalance, but on the contrary it presents like two people from different generations who discover that they are in fact childhood friends.