House In Vale Bem / espaço a3

© José Miguel Figueiredo

Architects: espaço a3
Location: Almada,
Principals in Charge: Carlos Pinto Velosa
Collaborators: Fernando Pires, Angela Aguiar
Engineering: Japtec
Project area: 820 sqm
Project year: 2004 – 2009
Photographs: José Miguel Figueiredo

© José Miguel Figueiredo

This lot is located at South of Lisbon, in an area that is characterized by individual lots for single unit houses. Very close to the city and also to the beach, this is a privileged area. Never than less is an area with small lots an very condensed where space for natural elements is very limited.

Surrounding and neighbourood is charaterized by small houses, almost all of them with two floors, square windows, little balconies and traditional ceramic roof.

north elevation

It’s a traditional construction where all houses look the same. This new house in that neighbourhood has the hability to be imponent and original when you see it from inside of the lot but very discrete from the outside. Even with contemporary look, and no ceramic roof, it is fully integrated.

It´s also a photogenic house that get to the attention to everyone that comes around.

© José Miguel Figueiredo

Usually the client ask to have a common ground floor and their private rooms at the first floor but in this case their main brief was to have a house that is mainly at the ground floor. However they want to define clearly their common area of the private.

That is how a middle axis appear to divide the space and to draw it. Its also this axis that makes the entrance into the main common area, the Living Room. At one side a long and low volume define the private area where you find all the bedrooms, to the other side a strong volume with high ceilings and strong exterior expression, will include common areas as living room and dinning rooms, Kitchen and relation with the exterior garden and swimming pool.

© José Miguel Figueiredo

The middle axis also defines the entrance. With a strong vertical image, this is the point where you already feel that two diferent volumes are difined.

The lot for this house has a strange shape and it´s not so big for a ground floor house. Trying to meet the client desire and creating their home space with the relation with nature and keeping privacy and the necessary distance from the street was a big chalange. The Patios and the use of the wood fence walls was the solution.

© José Miguel Figueiredo

The Patios work as a strategic way to bring light and nature to the interior of the house, allways keping privacy and necessary distance from the outside. These spaces bring calm and serenity to the interor and also work as little gardens where owner can enjoy nature with out beeing exposed to the exterior of the house.

Cite: "House In Vale Bem / espaço a3" 29 Nov 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 25 May 2015. <>
  • up_today_arch

    Small and smart! Every piece of project is well done… congratulations!…

  • P.ter

    This is an OK project. It’s a nice project overall except for the sort of wooden bunker with boring windows…