An old granary in northern Portugal has been given a new lease of life. These two rooms were built back in the 11th century as a space to dry and store the year’s harvest. In the roof there was also a dovecote where the farm’s tame doves lived. The barn was built in oak but the structure was under-engineered and without maintenance it soon fell into disrepair. The outline shape has, however, been preserved, largely thanks to the steel chains that were attached to nearby trees and have kept the frame in place over all these years. This has allowed the whole building to be renovated piece by piece, recreating the same advanced design and features of old. For safety reasons and in order to adapt the building to its current uses, the architects at Tiago do Vale were, however, forced to make some minor adjustments.
Times change and the building’s original purpose is long gone. There is no longer a farm here that needs to dry its grain in the traditional way. Instead, the barn has been converted into a peaceful retreat offering a moment of contemplation and a space for the doves to still enjoy a whole millennium later.