We are currently in Beta version and updating this search on a regular basis. We’d love to hear your feedback here.

Casa Adpropeixe / Carlos Castanheira & Clara Bastai

Casa Adpropeixe / Carlos Castanheira & Clara Bastai

Casa Adpropeixe / Carlos Castanheira & Clara Bastai - Beam, ForestCasa Adpropeixe / Carlos Castanheira & Clara Bastai - FacadeCasa Adpropeixe / Carlos Castanheira & Clara Bastai - BeamCasa Adpropeixe / Carlos Castanheira & Clara Bastai - Forest+ 45

Gerês, Portugal

Text description provided by the architects. It is said and written, that the idea is to be found in the site and it's true.

It's not just the idea, but also the name that comes from the site.

Adpropeixe, which almost seems to be a name out of an Astérix book, is a part of the Gerês Natural Reserve, located in Vilar de Veiga, in the Terras do Bouro district. It's just there, by the water, after passing the bridges and just before arriving at Gerês; the spa village.

Casa Adpropeixe / Carlos Castanheira & Clara Bastai - Forest

It's easier to access by boat than by road or cross-country. It is a unique place so the response to the commission also had to be unique and specific: a timber house.

The client, in love with Gerês, the reservoir and the water, had been looking for a site to buy to hopefully build a house.

After a long search, the chance arose to buy a site, where a tennis court had been built prior to the establishment of the Natural Reserve. This construction was legally and properly authorized at the time.

Casa Adpropeixe / Carlos Castanheira & Clara Bastai - Fence, Forest, Handrail, Deck

The pre-existence of this tennis court, which covered an area of 800m2, now allowed under the current regulations for the building of a house of up to 200m2 on the site. To get there, one has to climb the hill, along a sinuous tarmacadamed road, always rising until, when nearly at the top one starts to go down and down a narrow dirt track alongside perilous drops and stunning views.

The vegetation is dense and rich, although the traces of a forest fire that occurred some years ago in the area are still apparent. The court, a concrete slab painted green with a few white lines, which had once been used for playing tennis, was the only level plane in the whole 14,500 sqm site.

Casa Adpropeixe / Carlos Castanheira & Clara Bastai - Forest

Nature adapted itself to this element that was set into the hillside. The court was already within the forest when we first visited the site.

On arriving by the upper path, the view is stunning, taking in the calmest area of the lake and almost allowing a glimpse of the bridges.

On the court or platform, the view is an interior one, as the dense vegetation blocks out the panoramic views.

Casa Adpropeixe / Carlos Castanheira & Clara Bastai - Facade

Arrival from above, elevation of the volume of the house above the level of the platform so as to ensure views into the distance and the use of the platform, the flat area, for service and circulation.

Arriving at the site from an outcrop of rock, access to the house is via a bridge at roof level. Coming down, one arrives at the main entrance door, which is actually not used very much.

Casa Adpropeixe / Carlos Castanheira & Clara Bastai - Forest

From the living room, one has access to a large external terrace, nowadays called a deck. From the bedrooms one has access to a balcony which, due to a difference in level is separated from the large terrace, even though it is contained by it.

Casa Adpropeixe / Carlos Castanheira & Clara Bastai - Sofa, Wood, Beam

By placing external circulation on the periphery of the terrace, at a lower level, the visual interference of the necessary guard rail is avoided.

Casa Adpropeixe / Carlos Castanheira & Clara Bastai - Chair

The house, or habitable volume, is elevated over the ground by 52 timber pillars that form an ordering and constructive network.

This same network, or logic, is developed in the construction of the slabs, walls and stairs.

Almost everything has been left exposed, even when covered by thermal insulation or weathering membranes. Inside, the whole structure is seen and felt and lived in.

Casa Adpropeixe / Carlos Castanheira & Clara Bastai - Beam

Concrete footings, (the only concrete used in the building). Steel connectors. Structural frame, internal floors and ceilings in red deal, external flooring and ceilings in Cumaru Brazillian Teak. External finishes, walls and roof in copper. Glass in timber frames. Posts with fixings in copper and a wire mesh of polypropylene nylon form the fencing.

The house in Adpropeixe is an habitable viewing platform, elevated off the ground, but integrated and installed in the site.

Casa Adpropeixe / Carlos Castanheira & Clara Bastai - Windows, Forest

The land, the area, the Reserve, have all been improved since the building of the house commenced, not only because of the house, but also because of the occupancy that it brought about, does now and will continue to bring about.

The hillside has been cleaned up, water tanks have been built, trees have been planted, the paths improved, Nature has been humanized.

Architecture gave a little hand.

Project gallery

See allShow less
About this office
Cite: "Casa Adpropeixe / Carlos Castanheira & Clara Bastai" 22 Apr 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/18822/casa-adpropeixe-carlos-castanheira-clara-bastai> ISSN 0719-8884

You've started following your first account!

Did you know?

You'll now receive updates based on what you follow! Personalize your stream and start following your favorite authors, offices and users.