Where the Time Passes Slowly

architects AND-RÉ
project White Wolf Hotel, Panafiel, Portugal
written by Carlos M. Guimarães


Once a synonym of hard lives and long working days, Portuguese rural territories are becoming a place of desire, both for investment and leisure. Several reasons can be found to explain this cultural shift and the increasing attention of general and some specialized media to this phenomenon, but two main aspects must certainly be highlighted. The first one is that the majority of rural fields are not meant for production anymore, as Portugal passed from having highly productive farms and fields to becoming a country of services mainly located in the large urban areas of Lisbon and Porto, in less than 30 years. For this reason, a new meaning had to be found for these vacant, somewhat desolated villages and granges. Secondly, a good amount of people seem to be tired of cities and the increasing amalgamation and chaos they represent. As such, they try to find uninhabited voided places to escape from their tiring urban routine.