Architects: Graça Correia e Roberto Ragazzi
Location: Lousado, Vila Nova de Famalicão, Portugal
Site Area: 3,013 sqm
Constructed Area: 355 sqm
Promotor: Joaquim Agostinho Carneiro da Costa e Sá
Collaborators: Ana Neto Vieira, Susana Silva, Telmo Gomes, Katharina Wiederman, Pedro Gama
Structure and foundation engineering: GOP
Hydraulic Services: GOP
Technical Facilities Engineering: GET
Coordination and supervision: Graça Correia
Project year: 2004
End of construction: 2008
Photographs: Alberto Placido, Luis Ferreira Alves
Our architecture is grounded on the conviction that the identity of a work is determined by the way in which the conception process embodies the specificities of its origin.
Ignoring the possibility of a process resulting on a work’s appearance, this conviction allows, within each program particularity, the investment on the same themes without compromising each one’s quality. On the contrary, through incorporation one defines its singularity and so, the features of the surroundings turn out to be fundamental.
The backdrop of this plot is rather rural and even playful in its relation with the river.
The house is situated on a 3000m2 family farm where everyone relates but requests privacy. The farm features long platforms towards the river with rich walls in texture that create different areas with fruit trees. At the upper level one founds the access to the farm and most of the proximity relations with the existent construction on the north surroundings, extremely uncharacterized. For this reason, the house faces south and the river, the less built areas with the most trees.
The maintenance of most of all beautiful and locally traditional walls was very important, in such a way that these participate on the spatial organization of the house, establishing a particular connection with both the glass panels and the painted concrete. Hence the house sits on one of the walls that separate two platforms resulting on a two storey house, each with a direct relation with the outside and where the wall bursts through the windows contributing to an interesting inside spatial definition given its particular texture, now on the living area and kitchen, situated on the ground floor.
As the south view seen from the upper level is not that interesting given its industrial character, one chose to place the bedrooms on this level framed by patios that function as their extension to the outside. This solution allows an increase of outside area for diverse uses of leisure as also provides great privacy.
It’s clear the harmonious relation between the volume and the surroundings at the lower level with large windows framing the better view to south, containing the north view behind the volume that correspond to the bedroom patios on the upper floor. These patios guarantee the autonomy desired between the house and the platform where it “lays” assuring excellent leisure areas to south, east and west.
At the upper level one finds the entrance where the relation with the south landscape is immediate and with the lower platform through the distribution hall with two storeys. The elevation at the main entrance is drawn by a white volume with small pieces of coloured glass and on the inside a big wardrobe on the bedroom hall. On this floor is clear the separation between the family area of three bedrooms, wardrobes and bathrooms, with the less private area of an office and guest suit. Exactly on this side one finds the lobby and stairs connecting to the lower floor where again the different areas are clearly distinguished, the most public area with living and eating area, then the kitchen, laundry, pantry and service bathroom for the floor and the garage. The entrances for the less noble areas are dissimulated by wood panels.
The weightless of the volume is defined by the fragmentation and the decision to separate horizontally both levels as well as due to the hanging of the projection of the patios over the inferior level and platform, which helps accentuate the transparency of the lower level.
The plastic possibilities of the materials chosen are determinant and were consciously introduced as aesthetic means without questioning the programmatic issues of the constructive logic. The distinctive shape of this house is no answer to constructive questions but also to aesthetic considerations associated to them. We believe that appearance and vision are determinant for the outcome silhouette.