Lucky old buildings

Chesa Madalena, Zuos, Switzerland A mighty sixteen metre-high tower, dating back to the year 1305, was uncovered within the fabric of Chesa Madalena. The farmhouse, located in the centre of Zuoz, was part of a working farm up to 1999. Approximately twenty towers of varying sizes stood in Zuoz in the 14th century. • As an art gallery was planned, both the hay loft and the upper storey of the tower with its wooden shingle roof could be left as unheated spaces. • Along with other fascinating historical rooms in the former farmhouse, these rooms now house the Tschudi Gallery's art exhibitions. (Photo above right is one of the original towers.)

I am fascinated by the way really good architects meld and / or juxtapose the ancient and the new. The office of Hans-Jörg Ruch, based in St. Moritz, Switzerland, has excelled in this. The good use of time-honored materials in new construction or renovation – keeping the visual vocabulary consistent – is like looking into a mirror that somehow makes you look like you did 20 years ago: fresh, bright, clear, perky, no wrinkles, nothing saggy . . . (yes, I'll be turning 50 in a week, can you tell?). – GF

Portugal dreaming

If only I could blink my eyes and make a wish, I would spend a summer month here. I keep coming back to Dezeen to look at the photos by Leonardo Finotti that transport me to the hot little streets and cool interiors of a Mediterranean country I've never been to but feel like I know.

I like the way CoolBoom introduced it: "Bak Gordon Arquitectos designed the house in a silent way using soft colors that talk about privacy and tranquility." – GF