Casa de São Lourenço is a second addition to the Burel Mountain Originals family. The current design work is the result of close cooperation between architects P-06 Atelier and Site Specific.
Emphasis was placed on preserving the history of the existing old building and how it integrates into the surrounding landscape, following the original project by Rogério de Azevedo. Lying derelict for years, the old property rose from the ashes in October 2018. In a privileged position in the heart of the Serra da Estrela Nature Reserve at 1,250 meters of altitude. With its panoramic views taken in mountains, located the Zêzere Glacial Valley and the town of Manteigas, combining burel, design, and comfort for silent contemplation of the landscape. The new building is constructed around renovated old hotel Pousada de São Lourenço, one of the first hotels of its kind in Portugal, designed in the 1940s by the architect Rogério de Azevedo.
The new visible concrete construction is a device for allowing observation and contemplation – reviving the relationship between guests and landscape – from anywhere in the hotel. The simple and rational geometry creates large glass surfaces and generous exterior spaces in all of the hotel’s rooms and social areas. The use of burel, a locally spun wool fabric, and the re-use of the Pousada’s original designs and furniture became the common thread uniting the multiple contemporary spaces and environments, in harmony with the history and the surrounding landscape.
The style of the interior is contemporary and essentially immersed in Portuguese design, maintaining the stunning renovated furniture by Maria Keil, one of Portugal’s finest 20th-century artists. However, the room has been made also for the work of various contemporary Portuguese designers such as Nuno Gusmão, Marco Sousa Santos, Vicara, Util, Grestel, Bordallo Pinheiro, Bartolomeu Gusmão, Vanda Guerreiro.
In the first Casa Das Penhas Douradas, the owners worked with burel as an interior additional finishing. The wool touch was subtly added to spaces in order to soften the overall experience. However this time, they decided to take it a step further. In Casa de Sao Lourenco burel can be found everywhere. Helping to tell the story while deepening the mystery of the discovery of the details: the walls lined with embroidered poetry by Fernando Pessoa, the hand-painted panels, and the art installations which add an intimacy while wrapping guests in the history woven by the mountain.
Casa de São Lourenço accomodate 17 rooms and 4 suítes. Inside, the hybrid design blends old with new in an interesting way - trying to find a suitable balance. It has various separate relaxation areas, private balconies, and access to a garden of indigenous species so that you can sense the presence of the mountains at all times.
The restaurant is located in a two-layer reinforced concrete building with full-height windows, where one can enjoy the breathtaking views of Manteigas and Zêzerev Glacial Valley. All harmoniously combined with a “sky” - a handmade structure made out of tiny wool elements in the shape of a star covering almost the entire ceiling. The interior is considered down to the smallest detail for the comfort of visitors.
The indoor pool, with a hydro-massage circuit, connects directly to the small outdoor pool via a water passage. The Mountain Spa, comprising three treatment rooms and a relaxation room with a breathtaking view of the mountain range. The natural pinewood tones and terrazzo dominate the space – additionally echoing throughout the rest of the hotel. The Wellness area has a sauna and steam room. There’s also a waterfall shower and access to a small garden where the freshness of the air contrasts with the relaxing heat inside.
There are over 250km of walking and mountain biking paths signposted from the hotel that can be followed with or without a guide to discover unexplored places, summits, valleys, and historic and mountain villages, which are unique and truly diverse heritage.