Chão das Giestas House / AVA Architects

© FG+SG – , Sergio Guerra

Architects: AVA Architects
Location: São Miguel da Guarda, Portugal
Project Architects: Carlos Jorge Coelho Veloso, Rui Filipe Coelho Veloso
Client: Dr. Alípio António Ferreira Monteiro
Engineers: MBJ – Projectos de Engenharia Planeamento e Arquitectura, Lda.
General Contractor: Orestes & Gomes, Construções Lda.
Project Area: 320 sqm
Project Year: 2006
Photographs: FG+SG – Fernando Guerra, Sergio Guerra


The house evolves planimetricly with the city of Guarda as a background. The place profoundly altered exists in a peripheral context recently urbanized. The natural territory was depersonalized by the topographic changes caused by the urbanization. The existing public space is build without an organisation that matches the topography of the place, forcing an artificial and uncharacteristic lotting where there are different morphologic construction formulations e several typologies.

site plan


Corner lot of trapezoidal configuration. Streets layout involving the lot with high sloping. Good solar exposure. Restrictions in the implantation of the building volume initially predicted.

© FG+SG – Fernando Guerra, Sergio Guerra


The program evolves in three floors, imposed by the rules of the lotting. The garage, support kitchen, store-room, and service toilet are organised in the ground floor and in function of the external space previously defined.

level 00 plan
level 01 plan
level 02 plan

On the 0 floor, common spaces were formed around the central entry space (it unites and divides the two compact bodies). This entrance space makes the functional and visual link between all the construction levels. In these two bodies are included the kitchen, living-room, dining-room, work space and service toilet. It ́s in this floor that are placed the common spaces, relating from the entry space where the stairs are inserted. The stairs where conceived as a sculpture, beyond their utilitarian function. We tried to establish a logic visual relation between the exterior and the interior and vice-versa an interdependency between the two bodies. In the last floor are the most intimate spaces, the bedrooms and bathrooms, baring in mind their articulations from the central space.

© FG+SG – Fernando Guerra, Sergio Guerra
section 01


Foreseen the building of an isolated house with 320m2 of covered area. A garage in the basement and the residence in the two upper floors. Relating to the surrounding landscape. The construction volume is materialized in two apparently compact masses, two bodies that extend the shape of a living space between them. The solution tried to minimize the impact of the predicted building volume of three floors. Lot delimitated by a level wall. The setting favours visual stringing between the back and front parts of the site. The visual permeability between the inside and the outside, the public and the private is controlled and guided.

Cite: "Chão das Giestas House / AVA Architects" 08 Sep 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 25 May 2015. <>
  • Pedrovski

    An interesting house, but in my opinion, inappropriate to the site because distribution area is glass. It will be like an oven in Summer and a freezer in Winter.

  • up_today_arch

    House is like white sculpture in environment… Nice…

  • Carpet Guy

    Really like the concept of this house, especially the first photo with the 3 windows, which seem very modernistic. Also like the use of glass in the stairway, although @Pedrovski brings up a good point about temperature resistance with this material. Thanks for sharing!

  • eili

    i think contemporary glasswork is able to take on with the troubles of extreme ambient temperatures..
    might be a bit warmer in summer than in average buildings though :D

  • Cara

    As I was looking at the photos of the building, I particularly admired two things. The first is the glass center; as a bridge between the two sides of the top 2 floors and the staircase, it provides an opportunity for the occupant to view out. This in combination with the windows at night stand in breath-taking contrast with the white exterior. However when I read Pedrovski’s comment, I admired them much less. For a building that is supposed to be conscious of it’s context, this is a point against it. Perhaps some kind of shading system would be beneficial on this project, especially during hot summer months.

  • I am Flooring

    Nice House! This is the house I’ve been dreaming of.