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  • Writer's pictureCátia Rodrigues

Meet TheVagar team: the Architects

TheVagar is much more than a touristic accommodation space. It is your mountain home, which has a history, identity and character. Many are the special people who give TheVagar its shape and content on a daily basis in order to provide our guests with the best of experiences.

Today we introduce the architects duo, David Bilo and Filipe Pina, who worked on the lines and features of this beautiful house. They have been friends since high school and together they have developed several projects since the time of their architecture degrees. We had a chat with them to understand what it was like to work on TheVagar:

TheVagar CountryHouse
TheVagar Team

1. How did the opportunity to (re)build TheVagar arise?

The opportunity came naturally, after Marta and André's first contact. The curiosity lies in the fact that we realized we had several friends and colleagues in common.

2. What has most motivated you to enter this project and why?

Like any project, the challenge to transform and improve is always our biggest motivation. However, in this particular case, the beauty and natural landscape of the place were obviously an extra motivational factor. Not forgetting that, within this landscape, we could still discover some pre-existing buildings with a lot of potential, such as the old Casa da Chandeirinha and Casa dos Cedros.

3. What is the biggest challenge you found in TheVagar and how did you overcome it?

There were several, but we would highlight the one we faced at the very beginning of the process, in 2016: namely, not to undermine the whole set (natural and built) that we were presented with upon arrival.

4. How do you evaluate the relationship you have established with Marta and André, as well as with the rest of TheVagar team?

Good, would be the right word, since we all work towards achieving the best final result.

5. How has TheVagar allowed you to grow as professionals?

TheVagar challenge has allowed us to propose and develop solutions that are clearly not used on a daily basis, which we are extremely satisfied with.

6. What was your main concern in the rehabilitation of this house and how did you achieve it?

Clearly, to guarantee that the natural and vernacular character of the whole complex and its surrounding landscape would not be distorted, by rescuing the best characteristics of the place. In order to achieve this we often simply subtracted the dissonant elements, resulting from several previous interventions.

7. For the most distracted, who are not so aware of your work, give some examples of the Filipe Pina and David Bilo signature on TheVagar.

We don't want to spoil any surprises, but for those who come to discover this project, you will find a symbiosis between the vernacular of the pre-existences and the reinterpretation of some basic elements (like balconies and roof) with a more contemporary touch.

8. Have you worked on many tourism-related projects? What is the big difference between TheVagar and the others?

We have worked on other tourism related projects, and as in any other programme, there are no two projects alike, but the natural beauty found in the Serra da Esperança and TheVagar make this project unique and singular.

9. More than TheVagar partners, do you consider yourselves TheVagar customers?

Sure, even before a pandemic turned the world upside down, the desire to know and experience differentiated travel offers already existed. With TheVagar it couldn't be any different.

10. Tell us about the biggest misadventure you've had in the rehabilitation of TheVagar that you'd like to share with us.

We don't know if we can consider it an adventure, but our story at the now known as TheVagar, started in mid-2016, had a great adventure in August of that same year. We decided, together with the Paisagist Architect Ricardo Campos, to do a reconnaissance of Serra da Esperança, its spots and trails. It was a hot summer day, on which we walked about 14 km, in contact with nature and breathtaking landscapes, accompanied by a lunch at the Pousada de Belmonte, with the presence of Chef Valdir in the kitchen, ending the day with a well deserved and restorative swim in the old pool of TheVagar, with Marta and André's permission of course (laughs). It was the day that really marked the beginning of our work and underlined our will to make more and better in favor of this Project.

Thank you David and Filipe! Without you, TheVagar wouldn't be the same!


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