The Casa da Calçada is a cluster of ruins in Douro, Portugal. Far from being haphazardly collected, the ruins are arranged in a symmetrical pattern that centers the house and the chapel as the focuses of village life. Although previously abandoned, the ruins were recently converted into hotel rooms by architects Ricardo Carvalho and Joana Vilhena. The hotel spans 1,600 square meters (around 5,249 square feet) and includes several small stone buildings. On the outside, the buildings look much the same as before, with weathered rock walls and wooden pathways guiding visitors through the historical site. Inside, however, the buildings reveal slick, minimalist interiors that assure guests they will not have to do without modern conveniences. While the renovations do not keep with the original design of the village–there is now a swimming pool in the main ruin–they do welcome another wave of visitors to walk through Casa da Calçada’s gateways and look out on the vineyards and clear skies of the Douro Valley.

 Photographs © Nuno Gaspar

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Holly

Holly is a poet from Kentucky. She grew up first in a Sears house, then on a farm. She studied English and Gender Studies at Mount Holyoke College and moved to Manhattan for love. As an occasional jewelry-maker and museum patron, Holly favors wearable and functional design but is eager to see work that challenges her aesthetics. Read more and connect by visiting her blog, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

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