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    New Trend area of the Algarve - Barreta quarter in Olhão

    The architect by profession and passionate Barreta, Filipe Monteiro was the first to move to the neighborhood for Barreta, long gone nearly 10 years. Monteiro lived with his German wife, landscape architect in New York, when a trip to Portugal, was born the common love of Barreta. And how it was born this love?


    The architect by profession and passionate Barreta, Filipe Monteiro was the first to move to the neighborhood for Barreta, long gone nearly 10 years. Monteiro lived with his German wife, landscape architect in New York, when a trip to Portugal, was born the common love of Barreta. And how it was born this love?

    "A place to the south is always a place to the south, but here there is something identifiable, with its own character, we feel strongly attracted to this piece of land."

    'Olhão is not an aseptic city, formatted; is not modern, it has fishermen. The Barreta has a neighbor who goes to the bread in slippers and bathrobe; has a sea view, has this premise we can walk the streets in slippers and shorts, anonymous; It has the sea right there; the foreigner is obliged to speak Portuguese ... this is what makes it truly unique Barreta. "
    And how this architect sees Barreta from a professional point of view? "Here, I found it strange and very interesting was this ability when it did, there had been no influence any of the built environment: not Tavira or Faro or Albufeira ... what can we say of Barreta, and general of the historical area of Olhão, this is very closed identity, do cubist thing, that there is nowhere else in the Algarve, this is what makes it so identity, so different from anywhere else. "

    Now that you know the Barreta 'sight', we will enter on it's privacy and know how the typical interior of a house in the neighbourhood. Transposed the door (usually wood), we find ourselves in the house outside the main entrance where it passes to the other divisions.

    Further inside, it is the alcove, which is like here is called the room and at the back, the kitchen that traditionally was only a small bench with chimney where the fire was. Behind the house, a small yard. This standard structure suffered in many cases, changes over time in increasing family and the consequent need for more rooms led to the construction of a floor and often the yard disappeared, in its place, appear more covered area.
    And then, the terraces or terraces that served both to dry figs or fish, such as to observe the sea conditions before leaving to him, or sleep in the warm summer nights. Since nowadays these functions are obsolete in many of these terraces appear, now, small pools or jacuzzis, where new residents enjoy one of the greatest assets of the Algarve: the sun.

    Before leaving Filipe Monteiro, we take your experience, either with their own home or with those who have recovered for other residents to know how this lifting to the  Barreta neighborhood is being done.

    Reveals the architect that everything takes place with great respect for what exists and always looking like himself says, "restore only until it returns to work." This work begins with a research or documentary and, above all, among the popular, "those who really know how they were and how things were done."

    Then you get to work, taking advantage of all that can be profitable and recovering all that might be recoverable. Retire the successive layers over time and the need for works (the unsuccessful times) added to the original structure, and this is revealed in its purest state, respecting the old materials and construction methods. The result? Living in an authentic place, true, where time still runs slowly. These are some of the reasons why so many seek Barreta to live.

    Who is, after all, the new inhabitant of the neighborhood? We can summarize this way: come mainly from northern Europe (England, Germany, Holland, France, Switzerland, Belgium ...), to take up residence, has a high cultural level and looking for a style simple and relaxed life, with real quality of life where everything, including the sea, is a short walk away.

    If you are not retired, have professional or allow the use of teleworking. But there's also the Portuguese, or who have bought the house and restored only as a holiday retreat. And it is with both the Barreta has gained new life. And how does this new inhabitant discovered Olhão? Most first came on holiday and then returned definitely, but there is already a new wave of those who come because the secret of Barreta starts counting from mouth to mouth.

    "An authentic land," says the Dutch artist Meinke Flesseman

    Meinke Flesseman knew Portugal from small and Barreta was the obvious choice when, six years ago, decided to make Portugal their residence. For this Dutch painter, "if we go to other cities in the region, it reminds us a postcard. Not here. This is a real earth. I love the colors, the old and typical houses. Increasingly I know more artists interested in coming to live here, too. "

    Of course, all this new moves that lives in the neighborhood Barreta is reflected in the local economy. also we tried some of these actors, beginning with those who are early in the process: the real estate agent, of course. Elsa Marques works in real estate in Olhão and has witnessed the change in this Old Town area of the city.

    "There are many foreigners who visit the city and fall in love with typical houses.

    ">The interest lies preferably by property which is situated after the Mother Church, and there are many who have bought. "

    It also says Elsa Marques that "due to the crisis that has developed in the case of Olhão, was beneficial," and explains: "The builders and contractors stopped buying the empty houses.
    ">Before, when it was bought to build in height, it was thought always in apartments, not now. "

    Bought the property, it is necessary to restore it and make the necessary works.
    ">That's where contractors as Gabriel Dias and Vítor Baeta: both agree that this growing interest in Barreta has been a breath of fresh air, especially with the crisis situation in the construction sector.

    ">Vítor Baeta points out that "in most cases, what we are restoration and improvement works, but always respecting the traces and the original materials."

    But, he adds Gabriel Dias, there is also room for some improvements made by modern times, "as the double glazing and small pools and jacuzzis on the terraces." ">Nothing to change the original neighborhood maps.

    ">Tax benefits for rehabilitation

    ">There is still one last reason, not least, for the arrival of so many foreigners Olhão: the tax benefits.

    The tax regime for non-habitual residents was published in 2009, but only at the end of 2012 if limaram bureaucratic edges that were hindering law enforcement.
    ">In general, the statute allows pensioners who receive pension in another country have IRS exemption for 10 years.

    ">On the other hand, the value added of professionals, such as engineers or researchers who will work for Portugal, benefit from a flat rate of 20 percent IRS, for the same period.

    The tax regime for non-habitual residents is possible for citizens of countries with which Portugal has signed agreements to eliminate double taxation. Such agreements exist with all countries of the European Union and many others, like the United States, Brazil or Japan.

    The Municipality of Olhão also has a special system of exemptions for those who buy real estate in the historic area: IMI exemption for a period of two years from the date the city council license to perform works for the urban buildings rehabilitation purposes; IMI exemption for a period of five years from the date of completion of works and may be renewed for an additional period of five years; IMT exemption on the acquisition of urban buildings for urban regeneration since, within two years, beginning the respective works;

    ">exemption from IMT in urban property acquisitions or autonomous fraction intended for permanent residence, the first costly transmission rehabilitated building.

    ">To these urban renewal incentives granted by the city of Olhão can compete all area owners defined as Urban Renewal Area.

    If there are many who come to Portugal not to return, to a large extent, the choice falls on the Algarve almost naturally. Those seeking to Barreta these, know what it is that has Barreta.

    ">How much does cost living in Barreta?

    A quick search in real estate marketing sites shows us that at this time, are on sale in all the historical area of Olhão about 60 properties, recovered or recovering. Prices range between € 38,800 and € 367,500 for the house ready to move, and € 26,900 and € 350,000 for homes in need of intervention.
    ">The typology varies greatly, from T1 to entire buildings, multi-storey and trade.

    ">Interestingly, the average asking price per square meter has no significant difference: € 1,191 in real estate already intervened and € 1,083 in the houses that will still need work before receiving the new tenants.

    Once purchased the property, it is necessary to restore it, which adds another instalment to its final value.
    ">However, it says the architect Filipe Monteiro a restoration that respects the characteristics of the house and the original construction methods is cheaper than the much more intrusive demolition and subsequent reconstruction.

    ">According to estate agent Elsa Marques, in the last seven years there has been an increase of 70 to 80% in the number of homes sold which, in his case amounts to about two to three homes per month.

    ">Old Convent reborn as accommodation

    ">The new residents of Barreta are bringing to the neighbourhood not only a new lease of life, but also new business:

    ">The architect responsible for the restoration of several houses in Barreta by the request of buyers, in addition to their own, reveals the formula for a successful recovery.

    "He spends all for historical research and popular with all stakeholders which are part of, or have any relationship or area of knowledge. After this work done, also comes to some research on existing architectures, which still retain old records, be on the facades, the metric of the windows or the doors, the handles ... there is all this research ... and then, when it seeks to recover things that no longer exist, I do reading the "immediately adjacent", the closest may have read that. "

    This work. he explains, is possible because Barreta neighborhood houses are almost all part of a certain historical period, which allows, for example, if the door of a house is destroyed or simply no longer exists, you can look at the door of the house next door and see how it was built, that material, color, etc.

    Then there are the brick vaults, the tile floors handmade, "which often withdraw, piece by piece, we number and store, to make the work there is to do and then go back to place."

    This is a process that goes on, inevitably, by a close dialogue with the contractors performing the works, many of them unaccustomed of the oldest construction methods, explosion by the strength of brick and cement the last 30 years.

    ">How does the new tenants Barreta are received?

    With open arms, we can say.
    ">Of the several conversations we had with either residents or with neighborhood merchants, we can conclude that this breath of fresh air is seen with very good eyes.

    ">This is, moreover, the opinion of Maria de Jesus, manager of a cafe in Barreta, and serves often cicerone to tourists and newcomers residents.

    "We have many new customers, people who came here to live and come to discover the neighborhood.
    ">Eventually stop here, ask for information about the surrounding area, and end up getting customers, which for us is very good, especially during the winter season in the tourist movement turns out to be smaller. "

    Maria de Jesus underlines the fact that the new residents do matter to integrate: "I have a German client, who lives part of the year in the quarter and of the year in Germany, where he was now for three months, and they told me that,
    ">when you return, you will learn to speak Portuguese. "

    ">Maria Deolinda has more than 90 years, and for 12 this part, became tenant of a German:

    "He bought this building, got the upper house to come to holiday and I'm still down here. The only difference is that you now paid the rent to him. " This widow gets along well with the new residents.
    ">"They brought new life to the neighborhood," he says.

    ">Inaugurated 88 years ago, the House of Vergas, as it is known by Olhão, is one of the most emblematic establishments of Barreta.

    The owner of this craft store, Cesaltina Proenca also reveals that this wave of new residents brought with it an increase to the traditional trade of the neighborhood, "come to us especially when just buy or restore the houses, to get some traditional parts ">the decoration".

    ">But after all, what is that Barreta have?

    When, in the late sixteenth century, the first fishermen settled on the beach They look and began to build their reed huts, were far from imagining that cast the foundations of what would be in the twenty-first century, one of the most trendy neighborhoods and
    ">most popular of the city of Olhão and the entire Eastern Algarve.

    It was this seasonal occupation coming fishing Faro, which were established periodically on the western side of the beach and there builded the huts of St. Bartholomew, the embryo that would later be christened Bairro da Barreta, a core that has had several vacancies
    ">of construction / rehabilitation / reconstruction, and today's pole of attraction for artists, journalists, pensioners and many others, especially foreigners, but also Portuguese.

    Sandra Romba develops its research work and preservation of the past in the Municipal Archive of Olhão.
    ">He specializes in urban evolution of the city over time, evolved from reed huts to the "capital of the Ria Formosa 'we know today.

    ">After the initial period of occupation, it is the inauguration of the Church of Our Lady of the Rosary that initiates the call phase of expansion.

    "In 1715, the mareante João Pereira gets permission from the Queen to build the first brick house because of fires.
    ">Here begins a rapid growth phase of Barreta the neighborhood with the late eighteenth century, disappear the last reed huts ", tells Sandra Romba.

    In the following century, it happens even more quickly, raising the village, the creation of an industrial area in support of fishing activity, the emergence of other neighborhoods (Manuel Lopes, Gaibéu, Seven Elbows), construction of docks and shipyards
    ">mark out this period of consolidation.

    Let's go back to the initial question: after all, what is that Barreta have? The author of the thesis "Evolution of Olhão Urban» defended in 2008 at the University of Algarve, responds. "The historic center of Olhão has a unique architecture in the Algarve and across the country. That is why the city is also nicknamed cubist. But it is in Barreta that this type of architecture as unique appears almost sublimated: structured axes, respecting the line of the sea, the regular layout of the streets, the terraces, which here are called terraces, the lookouts, the cubic structure of the houses a cubic structure in various unevenness ... all are identifying marks that are in Barreta and nowhere else in the world. " And white, added. Always white. Omnipresent wherever we turn, the white dominates this houses. If Olhão is the Vila Cubist, the Barreta is the maximum exponent of this architecture. And carries with it a unique identity at the same time open to all and a very well kept secret.