GEO - What was your role in the creation of Ombria Resort and how did you get involved with the project?
Jorge - In 2008 I was called by the management of Ombria Resort to design 'the best course in the world'. I believe it was essentially due to my recent work at Quinta do Lago. I refer to the 'Laranjal' Golf course, designed on limited land, which has had an over expected success. It had been open to the public in 2007.
After seeing the terrain, I replied that we would design 'the best course in the world' within that difficult but beautiful territory. That is what we achieved.
GEO - When people come to Ombria, what can they expect?
Jorge - The land, in the hills, crossed by river streams. A glamorous region with unexpected Beauty. The 18 hole Golf course at Ombria Resort is not common. A special design for a unique site. This course is a par 70/71, around 6000 m long. Accuracy, not distance, is of primary importance. It is a true challenge for every level of player and any tournament could take place here. At same time a strong Golf test and pleasant to play.
GEO - What are the main points that you see were unique about the way in which Ombria was designed, constructed?
Jorge - The old existing water resources system and other old existing constructions, was a preservation must. For two reasons. It has made this Golf course almost self-sufficient in water resources all year round. The beauty of handmade features, levadas, noras, old lime kilns, tanks and walls. All restored carefully. It is unique. The course was designed and built integrating Golf in this philosophy.
GEO - What was the main focus behind your vision for Ombria Resort and what kind of consideration did you give to sustainability related issues in the design of the course?
Jorge - The vision was shared between the Client and ourselves. In a terrain with such character and beauty, preserving these values was imperative. Great focus from the views to the undulating fairways, greens and streams. Preservation of the wonderful arborization. Reduced grassed areas for minimum water consumption. Nature preservation to the fullest.
GEO - Were there any lessons you feel you learned for future projects during the design and construction of Ombria?
Jorge - Despite our long experience in various types of land, this project was developed on a very sensitive region and terrain. All environmental values were to be kept. This is the lesson we learned in this regard, to deepen our project and to carefully follow these construction details on site. Our relationship with local authorities has been very close, like with the expert environmental partners involved.