Aveleda’s House / Manuel Ribeiro

© Ivo Tavares

Architect: Manuel Ribeiro
Location: Braga,
Project Team:
Structural Engineer: Alberto Fernandes Ribeiro
Landscape Architect: Manuel Ribeiro, Architect
Contractor: William Kent Development Inc.
Project Area: 450m sqm
Project Year: 2006-2007
Photographs: Ivo Tavares

Designed in Braga, Aveleda´s House is a villa designed to accommodate the light as a source of inner experience of housing.

© Ivo Tavares

The basic idea of the project, parts from the concept of being located near by the old Roman city of “Bracara Augustae”, where the ancient Roman houses, the Domus, were built around an internal square. Hence all the subtlety of the house is achieved with a careful distribution. In other hand, it was searchable to provide all 6 senses of life.

“… We tried to take the most of the land to create a connection with the interior of the building, leaving a view of the valley and the square that exists between the two bodies housing …”, highlights Manuel Ribeiro, architect and author of the project responsible for its implementation.

ground floor plan

The main body which houses the social functions of the house is situated at the same elevation of the square, assuming the sloping ground with the Hall higher, comparatively to the social part and creating a view of all from this; the social area involves open spaces, living and dining room without doors to the kitchen, and bathroom service is disguised within.

Down below the architect created a space for a gym and an office, supplied by the natural slope of the terrain.

section 02

The private area with 4 bedrooms (1 suite and 3 rooms) and a large bathroom facility support is at the elevation of the entrance hall, raised highly in comparison of the external square, without losing the visual field.

The suite room as also a closet, and a large bathroom, where’s a division between the uses (bath, sanitary and sinks).

© Ivo Tavares

On the square that is outside, we can find the pool that reminds us the Roman “compluvium” of a “Domus”, centered on between two areas of housing. Uniting all construction towards the valley and enhanced with the Sun´s circuit along with the glass façade.

The engine room, the locker room and a support kitchen area in a under elevation of the square, as a support for the outdoor activities.

© Ivo Tavares

“… The plasticity of the object HOUSE (purpose built) will always be overridden by the phenomenological aspect, giving identity and character to the building and so, it’s able now to provide a center of life, functional and familiar at the same time that explores the pleasure of landscapes, spacious zones and materials.

This will not be only a “home”, but always a Domus. All the project intends to explore the human being as well as it senses: touch, sight, smell, hearing, taste and passion. These are aspects that never been neglected. On the contrary, they are always present… ”, he concludes.

Cite: "Aveleda’s House / Manuel Ribeiro" 19 Jan 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 22 May 2015. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=46911>
  • tsktsk

    Chapa 5!
    Must all portuguese architecture posted here come from the same template?

    • http://www.manuelribeiroarchitect.com Manuel Ribeiro

      it is inspired on a roman domus! there´s a comum language in between this house and mediterranean architecture; its not a template: its a cultural heritage!

      at least we have one that goes around the world.

      • luso

        by one you are refering to?

      • Carlos

        You gotta be kidding, right?
        Your speech is even worse than your architecture!

    • Tiago Dias


      I have been thinking the same for the past few months, I cannot remember the last time that I came across Portuguese arquitecture on this website that is not instantly recognizable as Portuguese…

      Not because it is great, but because it is square.

      Came on guys, retire those rulers…it is all looking a little too “Geriatric” now.

  • http://twitter.com/xirclebox/status/7986798515 xirclebox

    i like this house –> Aveleda’s House / Manuel Ribeiro http://bit.ly/4QUqNK (via feedly)

  • Pedro

    Tiago Dias, tens toda a razão..

    Tiago Dias is right about what he said.
    Portuguese architecture is much more diverse than this. There are so many offices that are risking in order to stay out of that “safe” way of making projects, that don´t bring nothing new to the conceptual world of architecture.

    I like Arch Daily very much, but I think that they could search for more quality works from Portugal,
    like João Mendes Ribeiro, Atelier do Corvo, Manuel Graça Dias+Egas Vieira, João Carrilho da Graça, Inês Lobo,…

  • http://twitter.com/nicholaspatten/status/8018473532 Nicholas Patten

    I'd Live Here: Aveleda’s House. http://bit.ly/79TiYk

  • http://twitter.com/wpstudios/status/8018496099 WPstudios

    RT @nicholaspatten I'd Live Here: Aveleda?s House. http://bit.ly/79TiYk

  • Margarida

    All judgements and discussions concerning the architecture aside, please find a better translator for the article. Some people read the text as well… Shame to miss all the thinking behind the project!

    • Tiago Dias

      I have to admit that I wrote my first post as a knee jerk reaction to a felling that has been bugging me for a while regarding my personal opinion about the “squareness” of current Portuguese Architecture repeatedly displayed on this site.

      Therefore I proceeded in shame to read the text as suggested by Margarida.

      Well, I have to say that I was not anymore impressed than I was before.

      I will not enumerate the reasons why I actually like it less after reading it than before, as my original comment was not so much about the particular but the general, and I wish nothing but success for the parties involved.

      However…in retrospect…I feel that I should not have to “Read” Architecture, but Admire, Feel and ultimately Live it…

      …as the latter is usually not an option, the first two will have to make do and sometimes compensate.

      “Reading” Architecture is for Academics of Architecture only, I am a Designer and I also appreciate the value of a good idea and a process of thought that engages me, but not if that is actually more interesting than the images of it.

      Is there no room for improvement, evolution or progression on this theme?

      Am I stuck to seeing more orthogonal delight for years to come?!

      I thought it was cool at Expo 98…but it was 1998 and I was only 20…

  • Maurice Nioxxx

    90 % of portuguese architecture : Bauhaus 1940 !

    And the question is why ?

    • Rick

      There was no Bauhaus in 1940. Did you study?

  • Dean Straughan

    The program works fine. The concept is clear. However, most of the internal spaces seem so sterile.

    Where’s the delight?

  • luso

    I get the impression that Portuguese architects aspire to be like Siza and Souto Moura or that they are taught to design in those styles at architecture school.

    • Carlos

      Well it’s both actually!

      • luso

        Why is that? isn’t there any incentive to be more creative and daring? or is that what the tutors ask for?

      • Carlos

        Once again… both!

  • abe

    Archdaily, portuguese works are better than this. This is a clean, but boring and sad architecture.

  • http://lobo_ne@hotmail.com Manuel

    consequetly, I been seeing “square” architecture all around the world, not just Portugal. sad is the eye that cannot see.
    Anyway thanx for the discussion, because as I´ve seen all of the participants love to show off, well, let´s see next years, how it´s going to be.

  • Pedro

    “well, let´s see next years, how it´s going to be”

    Manuel, I can see you are struggling to make a difference here, but… what are you really saying?!
    Next years, you´ll win the Pritzker with these “roman domus- inspired” houses?

    Of course, we we´ll always have “square” architecture all around the world, but we evolved so much since the 80s and 90s that we can make a difference in our new buildings.

    Just saying..

  • Rick S.

    That’s it, I’m tired of these threads. For the sake of discussion, I’d like to point out that it’s pretty sad that the dislike of a particular project drags with it the underrating of a so-claimed formal approach of a country’s common practice, and it’s always Portugal. Moreover, I see that these kind of comments come from portuguese people! Why so resented with your fellow countrymen? It appears to be a great debate among architects in Portugal about national(istic) identity, as if there were people who don’t want to see themselves related to a certain way of doing things just because they are also Portuguese, and that is just plain stupid. Take out the captions, and nobody could tell where the house really is. What you’re whining about as a certain “Portuguese architecture” is the architecture of the white matchbox, and it’s the same in Spain, Mexico, Greece, The Phillipines or Los Angeles. Trying to call it just for yourselves, makes you look silly, honestly. It’s an era of subjectivity, you just have to be coherent, to be yourselves and mind less being in the pack. Look at Dean Straughan’s comment, and you’ll see what’s really important here, on this house, on Archdaily and anywhere in the world.

    And the “Portuguese architects aspire to be like Siza and Souto Moura” argument, always present in any article about ANY white building in Portugal, is ridiculous and tiresome already, and surprinsingly it usually comes from a Portuguese… They’re good architects, they’re well known for that, and is obvious that they must be influential in Portugal, but these kind of remarks makes me think of a community of people resented of other colleague’s success, unable or unwilling to understand the quality of what they’re criticizing. That’s a pity, for it’s clear that there are good practices around Portugal, everybody knows that, yet you guys seem to still feel that the nationalistic tag is necessary, and that it carries a formal luggage with it. It doesn’t, not anymore.

  • luso

    Im not sure if the question is the quality of the project of which i personally think is of a good standard especially compared to lots of the crap that i see here in the uk. What worries me is that a lot of portuguese architects appear to be afraid of stepping outside the typical white matchbox architecture and taking on a design language that looks more towards the future and is almost dramatic not that this is neccessarily the correct path to follow mind you. Modern crazy vanguard architecture is be no means perfect architecture. However we must not fall behind those who are involved in the world of car design for example.

    • Tiago Dias

      I’m actually involved in the world of Car Designer.
      Thanks for the “compliment”!

  • tsktsk

    Esta casa está para a actualidade tal como os moveis da Capital do Móvel estão para o “moderno”, pareçe que é mas não é!

  • Estêvão Ferreira

    What is wrong with “squareness” Architecture? I dont know anything about Architecture but i know what i like, and i like “squareness”! If i want “roundeness” ill by a VW bettle! Do you Architects also have fashion and out of fashion Architecture?

    • Tiago Dias

      Like it was rightly so implied in one of the previous posts, this “Comment Section” is descending into a Forum of discussion about the merits or absence of regarding a particular trend. I feel partly responsible for that, and I guess, this is not the place for that.

      Therefore I shall change the tone a little, and focus more on the particular rather than the general…

      Some people might like it this project very much, others less, I myself, clearly subscribe to the latter.

      As an observer, I feel this project is unemotional and surely void of the passion claimed. Blank walls, basement looking windows on living rooms, office like kitchen, sterile hotel bathrooms all add to the vast volumes of white on the orthographic volumes of the exterior.
      On some pictures you would be forgiven for wondering whether it is really a Home or if it is in fact an office or a school.

      As a Designer, I feel this project is not Modern or even progressive (neither to the Art of Architecture nor to the “(Portuguese) Matchbox Movement” previously mentioned).

      And if it it fails to be any of the good things you expect from a home, a fitting representative of good Portuguese architecture or progressive in any way shape or form?

      Then what is it?

      A 450sq/m anonymous array of white blocks anally placed around a Pool??

      I’ll just go back to bed, thank you very much!

      Fine…as house on a street somewhere, with no aspirations of being more than a house.

      But as a representative of Portuguese architecture?!
      Errrrrrrr…NOT OK

      The Mission statement of this particular site is to provide…

      “…the best architecture around the world, as soon as possible.”

      This is what I expect from ArchDaily when I log in, and in this case I felt it failed me…

      But enough ranting…If anyone likes it, please pull your finger out and educate the Plebe as to why this project can claim to…

      “…explore the human being as well as it senses: touch, sight, smell, hearing, taste and passion. These are aspects that never been neglected. On the contrary, they are always present…”
      As quoted from the text accompanying the victim.


      Why it deserves the accolade of being posted as one of the day’s “best architecture around the world”.

      Because, I am at a loss on that.

      By the way, and finally, any thoughts about the glorious Blue Bathroom. Other than…”Why on earth did he post that???” or “Is that really an aluminium door?”

  • gotcha

    seriously… it’s getting ridiculous… every time a white portuguese house comes out there’s always 2 or 3 people that have to bring out the siza\souto moura issue…and just like rick said.. 90% of the time, those people are portuguese… undermining their fellow countrymen’s work.. why can’t you be glad for your colegues and for their accomplishments? come on.. you’r better than this, we’re better than this.. enough. if you want to criticise… criticise the actual house… not the architectural culture.. wich is not the reflection of a few works… as you know better than anyone else..

    to me it’s a quite peaceful and confortable space… ideal to live with your family..well thought and well built…

    i must say.. my teacher admires portuguese architects.. he say’s that they are able to design as great works as the best architects and yet with less ressources… and from what i’v seen i have to agree.

  • Estêvão Ferreira

    Problem with Portuguese is jealousy! I belive we prefer to point out what our countrymen did wrong instead of glamourise their achievements. I must agree with gotcha, and i quote: “it’s quite peaceful and confortable space… ideal to live with your family”. What can be wrong with that???

  • carlos ferreira

    I’m a Portuguese designer, and I happen to think this is a nicely resolved design. I would be proud to have designed it and would gladly live in it.

  • http://www.modern-zen.com Modern Zen Architecture

    It’s impressive. Come on. Who wouldn’t want to live in this amazing home. Besides, isn’t causing controversy and bringing out such strong complements and criticism a form of flattery? I think that anything that is worthwhile, will probably be criticized by somebody.

    • Tiago Dias

      “I think that anything that is worthwhile, will probably be criticized by somebody.”

      Very nice…But perhaps only as deep as the subject itself.


      Regardless of how mediocre, there will always be someone who loves it!


  • João

    ” tsktsk says:

    Esta casa está para a actualidade tal como os moveis da Capital do Móvel estão para o “moderno”, pareçe que é mas não é!”

    Sinceramente é um bocado isto, mas a estrutura da casa(planta, disposição) é muito boa, o que lixa tudo são alguns acabamentos (revestimentos, pavimentos, a caixilharia da sala e cozinha, iluminação, wc’s) mas com uns toques podia ficar bastante boa

  • Halima Mohamed

    I like How the architect play with the levels and have a connection between the ground floor and first floor. The architect have great concept that related to the region that surround the building.