Pórtela works in various fields connected to architecture in his native Galicia. He teaches, writes and even writes television scripts about his country, all the while continuing to work in his studio.
Galicia may be the Spanish region in which rural homes are most scattered being that each family built their caserío on their own small piece of land in accordance with their own construction customs.
The houses are thus often isolated boxes with family and patrimony in mind. Many aspects of traditional construction have nonetheless disappeared, such as the long glass and painted wood galleries and the large central spaces that opened on to the house, the latter of which have been replaced by spaces more appropiate to public housing apartments, with aluminum window frames. In current rural architecture, granite is used capriciously along with concrete, while the roofs no longer have the logic of the old hipped roofs.
The Rey House is just one more country house, but Pórtela recovered some old elements in his plan. It is an exact prism of granite perpend bearing walls from which nothing juts out except the three galleries. One is to the southeast, upstairs off the master bedroom, also forming a porch for the downstairs bedroom used by the parents. There are jutting bay windows and a stairwell to the southwest. The main gallery, made with precast concrete and window- work, gives the house its traditional warmth.
This sturdy design, a bit heavy, avoids formal questions not directly adapted from what is being or, better yet, was being built in the region. In that sense, the house pertains more to the region than it does to architecture... [+]