Refuge Pavilion / Francisco Portugal e Gomes

Architects: Francisco Portugal e Gomes
Location: Santiago/Penafiel,
Collaborators: Fernando Gabriel, architect / João Alexandre Abreu, practice architect
Structure and Foundations: Fernando Gonçalves, engineer
Water Supply and Water Installations: Fernando Gonçalves
Electric Installations and Communications: MEGAVAR – Engenharia, Lda
Project leader: Sónia Almeida, engineer
Constructed Area: 83 sqm
Project year: 2002-2003
Construction year: 2006-2007
Budget: US $1,181 / sqm
Photographs: Fernando Gabriel, Jorge Garcia Pereira

The project anticipates the rearrangement of an already existent construction annexed to a small house, in a refuge pavilion with 50 sqm.

The implanting of the new building follows the limits of this existent construction in the west side, recycling small stone. The opposite side is rebuilt, realigned and, reusing the granite header from the best walls, is created an uncovered yard that serves as entrance and, at the same time, decompresses the proximity with the neighboring house. This reconstructed element melts itself with the new construction interlinking the granite wall with horizontal slate plates of 3 cm in thickness placed in small stone cubes making a continuous grate that draws the building.

This kind of approach aspires to bring this new building near in colours, materials and textures to some vernacular constructions of granite, wood and slate that already exist in the region.

The pavilion organization departs from a nucleus of sanitary and shower fittings, placed between the yard and the covered area, trying to strengthen the entrance direction through its compression, in order to release all the remaining space in a single multi functional compartment. The inner space is marked with structural porches and carpentry facades, which shut make the total closing of this inner space and opened allow the perception of the surrounding landscape from an angle of 180º.

Cite: "Refuge Pavilion / Francisco Portugal e Gomes" 11 Jan 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed 17 Sep 2014. <>


  1. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Another generic Post-Modern building that could be built in any site in the world. Return of the Return of International style mixed up with fetischism for regionalism tourism.
    But it is true, nice details. Except the kitchen, too Ikea.

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    whatever you mean by post-modern, Kim.. I think you have your arch. history details mixed up a little bit – and I don’t get the “regionalism tourism” thing, would you mind elucidating that part?

    oh well…but to each her/his own – the debate will go round and round again the next time another lava-or-the-likes-of-it project is posted here.

  3. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    If I call this Post-Modern, it is not referring to M.Grave and all the Classical nostalgia. It is a deliberate reference to late post-modernity with R.Meier (Corbusier nostalgia) and then the minimalism trend that started in the 90′s based on a nostalgia for the International Style, and early Modern architecture. Instead of Doric columns in plaster, you have boxes for the sake of boxes.

    The reference to regional tourism is a comment on the very effective, commercial and caricature package tours sold in Europe, called “eco-tourism”.

    I think it is important to be critical with minimalism, because it has become the most successfully commercial niche in architecture since 2 decades. There should be an obvious debate on what it means in term of masochism, and fetishism of commodity.

  4. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I had the impression that archdaily presents only notable buildings and projects. This is a very generic building. There is no design invention or formal play or spatial exploration. I don’t know why this building is worth presenting. If you look at Ordos projects in inner Mongolia, China for example, you will understand what I mean by “design invention or formal play or spatial exploration.”

  5. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I thought architecture didn’t resume itself to “design invention or formal play or spatial exploration”; to be honest, if archdaily was only presenting spectacular projects like these ORDOS jokes, it would be very boring.

    … I had a dream today … The whole world was made of ORDOS projects …

  6. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Anather “great architect”who’s deeply suffering when sees the simple and modest building,isn’t so,Kim?You’ll do better?Then go and do–everyone is capable to lay on the sofa and think deeply about”great architecture”-to do-more work,less talk,colleque!

  7. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Rokas, seriously, look at the kitchen bench, it’s really not that exciting. The wood work is basic, and there’s only 2 stoves and 1 sink. When you are cooking you are facing your guest that have only 1 small sofa facing a TV, while you give your back to the dinning table.
    The nice thing is the entrance with the black slates, but the rest could be more hedonistic, considering that the view must be breathtaking. I would imagine a set of sliding doors, that would free the entire room and let the landscape get in the dinning room, it could have been a very nice exercise in carpentry…Instead you have this colonade and louvres creating a claustrophobic space.

  8. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Kim, seriously, do you think doing that kind of project for less than 1000€/sqm deserves such trash talking? Rokas’s and other are right; let me tell you many architects don’t own clients as your superstars idols own. Many of them just try to do their work as well as it can be done, without trying to make every project a performance or something never seen before. This house has many qualities; relation to the sloping ground, nice details, nice work on sequences though the pathway, intimicy of the living room with a poetical semi hidden look on the landscape. Oh my god, the kitchen bench doesn’t fit you!!!

    Anyway, i really think your religion of putting a style on every building you see is an absurd way to comment architecture, your fight is over, dude. Most of all, misunderstanding Koohlass’think definitively makes disasters in young architects minds, making them unable to have a look on daily architecture. You should ask yourself if you re not the most passeist and close minded person in that debat…

  9. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    thanks for clearing up the post-mod. part of you original post, Kim. whether it’s actually happening or not, dubbing an assumed nostalgia for modernism another kind of post-modernism is interesting & ironic. that thought will stay with me.

    in terms of masochism, I still can’t follow you. Are you referring to some sort of self-inflicted austerity brought about not by a lack of means but by a moral code, à la Weber’s analysis of the protestant way of life?

  10. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    This argument proves the true subjectivity of our sport. Which is great. Personally, I think this building is beautiful, simple, economically real…and if you are up for it Kim I’d like to take you out for dinner!

  11. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I see a small, not claustrophobic but cozy pavilion, designed within the material and conceptual framework of a beautiful landscape and a centuries-old farmhouse, beautifully thought up and crafted, open and intimate at the same time, perfect for the joy of receiving guests. The kitchen bench works. You stand with your guests, and don’t go around the bench moving from it towards the table and vice-versa. After all, in southern-European cultures you prepare a meal with your guests, not for your guests. What I can’t see here are theories of any sort, any efforts to join a team or style (or religion, as Frix intelligently points out), any intention to rise a disciplinary debate (or admiration) among architectural “illuminati”, any glossy attempt of avant-garde, any cosmetics, any flashes. I can’t even see the TV. And I like that.

  12. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I agree mostly with Arman-I like the idea of this pavilion like space,subtle addet to an old house-its conseptual.Of course,the seating area isn’t done the best…but that isn’t the key of the project-The “colonade-space”…and again-what’s the deal-in such a small house-there just can’t be the hedonistic approach.

  13. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Answer to Freq, yes it is this kind of approach about austerity, very anchored in minimalism architecture, that I was refering to.

    Answer to Arman and Frix. Sorry guys, maybe it’s due to the fact that I live and practice in Sydney where hundreds of projects of this scale is published every year, but I can tell you, this kitchen bench is not exciting. If you are having a Mediterranean family gathering, this space would not be suitable. I am not talking about style, here but of space and usage of door windows, carpentry, and the simple fact that you have 2 stoves, a minuscule kitchen bench and 1 sink.

  14. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    “Another generic Post-Modern building that could be built in any site in the world. Return of the Return of International style mixed up with fetischism for regionalism tourism.
    But it is true, nice details. Except the kitchen, too Ikea.”

    if you know the site you will not say that, this building respect the environment and this architecture is unique, based on Minho architecture region from Portugal, no other place in the world have that kind of architecture, an example

  15. Thumb up Thumb down 0

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