Baron House located in Skåne, Sweden by John Pawson | The Hardt
Baron House located in Skåne, Sweden by John Pawson. The site of this vacation house in rural southern Sweden came with a conventional arrangement of farm buildings set around a courtyard and the earliest phases of the project explored the possibility of retaining some elements of the original structures. The final design raises single-story wings of accommodation on the cleared footprint of the old. Agricultural precedents are reworked in both the form and materiality of the architecture, producing pitched roofs of corrugated zinc, white rendered walls and timber elements.
Fonte Boa House by João Mendes Ribeiro located in Fonte Boa, Portugal | The Hardt
Fonte Boa House by João Mendes Ribeiro located in Fonte Boa, Portugal. The Fonte Boa House is a single family house designed in a rural estate in Fartosa, Fonte Boa, in the center of Portugal. The small estate, with a vineyard and olive grove, is located in the Rabaçal valley, confined by the Jerumelo, Sicó, and Espinhal mountains. This expressive valley’s landscape, which was once occupied by a Roman villa (around IV BC), is now mainly characterized by small plants and big olive trees. The house is located in the west side of the estate, protected from the main road, taking advantage of the best sun exposure, the surrounding trees and the views over the valley. The accurate position of the house was set so that there wouldn’t be major changes in the terrain, maintaining the existing slope and preserving all the existing trees.
Reinterpreting the traditional single-family housing typology, the house is a two-story rectangular volume with zinc pitched roof, whose volume detaches itself from the slope with a concrete basement (occupied by a small wine cellar). From the street, the entrance is made through an opening in the stone wall that limits the south part of the site. The open garage, built below the terrain level, is enclosed by concrete walls, by the semi-underground concrete box that hosts the laundry room, and by the stairs that lead to the upper level where the house is located. A succession of platforms leads to the entrance of the house, which is protected by a windbreak door. Inside, both floors are organized in three parts, with core stairs and utility area that, on the ground floor, divides the dining from the living room and, on the first floor, separates the two main bedrooms.
Located in Coimbra, Portugal, Robalo Cordeiro House by João Mendes Ribeiro | The Hardt
Located in Coimbra, Portugal, Robalo Cordeiro House (2009) by João Mendes Ribeiro. The Robalo Cordeiro House, a single family house in Rua António José de Almeida, in Coimbra, is a two-story building (with attic and basement) that was, prior to the rehabilitation, deeply uncharacterized and in an advanced state of decay. The refurbishment and expansion project started therefore by the total demolition of the interior, recovering the facades and keeping the original external coatings. Except for the roof – where two new copper mansards were inserted next to a preexistent mansard – the main facade remained almost unaltered. The back facade suffered significant changes with the insertion of three new volumes: a concrete volume that extends the living room over the patio, a corten steel volume at the first-floor level and the third volume in Ipê wood in the top floor. In all three volumes a formal and material language, clearly differentiated from the preexistence, was sought after, underlining the intervention gesture.
The organization of the interior spaces, defined by a new iron and concrete composite structure, recuperates some of the preexistence characteristics, such as the location of interior stairs and pathways. In the ground floor, the house evolves from an entryway to the common spaces which – through a system of sliding panels – can be closed or left opened, communicating with each other with great flexibility. The private spaces are located on the upper floors, with two individual bedrooms, a closet and a study room on the first floor and the main bedroom, with closet and office on the top floor. The first-floor study room (corresponding to the corten steel volume prominent in the back facade) is a box entirely covered in birch plywood with folding shutters that, by revealing the existence of openings to the exterior, also work as furniture. The wooden volume in the top floor corresponds in turn to a small suspended patio connected to the main bedroom.
Rustic House by Urban Agency located in Kerry, Ireland | The Hardt
Rustic House by Urban Agency located in Kerry, Ireland. How to design and build a project that will take a few decades to complete “on time” for its owner retirement plan? In this project, aging and weathering serve as a critical design tool for thinking about how architecture might intercept the changing state of weathering on site. On a sloping rural site with views over the land, the form and orientation of an existing cottage generate two further, similar buildings, which offer a more complete inhabitation of the ground. The first, a south-facing bedroom emerges from the hill; the second, a bathroom with double height shower of traditional Moroccan construction is largely contained within it. The three buildings are connected by a subterranean rooflit corridor whose walls retain the earth. These are sheds, entirely made out of in situ concrete (walls and roofs) and finished with natural rust iron pigments usually used for gardening, making reference in color and form to vernacular construction.
Located in Vermoim, Portugal, Igreja Velha Palace by Visioarq Aquitectos | The Hardt
Located in Vermoim, Portugal, Igreja Velha Palace by Visioarq Aquitectos. in 1881, in Vermoim – Vila Nova de Famalicão, the Igreja Velha Palace was for many decades the mansion of an important farm, baroque style with two castellated towers and an attached chapel, the neo-gothic style S. Francisco de Assis chapel. With the introduction of many additions and volumetries that deprived the complex of its features, this project came across many challenges regarding the constructive and functional aspects. The intervention asserted the valorization of the set through the volumetric and spatial recovering, the reparation of the degraded constructive elements and the asymmetries created throughout its history. The expansion, with a new volume built to host events, complementary to the use of the palace, was also a listed objective for this project.
The preservation of this patrimony inserted in the local cultural landscape was possible due to demanding recovery criteria that integrated the new volume. Therefore, this arises embraced by the confining elements of the old structure, respecting the alignments, promoting and reinforcing the pedestrian axis that runs through the center of the palace and ending at a corbel protruding volume that welcomes the visitors of Igreja Velha Palace. The old/new counterpoint asserted itself through the mixture between local and more modern materials and original constructive processes, maintaining achromatic and volumetric harmony of the landscape. The COR-TEN steel that covers much of the building, the granite, the wood, and the concrete embody the concept inspired in the old local granaries.
The granary is a traditional rural structure, normally made of stone and wood, with the function of drying the corn through the side cracks and at the same time protecting ir from being destroyed by rodents through the ground elevation. In mainland Portugal, they can be found particularly in the North region and are subject to ethnographic and tourist interest. The indoor/outdoor relationship is stated by large windows without compromising the energy efficiency of the building. It is in this context that the slatted wood was introduced – evoking the local granaries – as well as the asymmetric flap in two planes, which delimits the entrance of the event buildings in a transition between the interior and the exterior. Finally, as to the landscaping, the existing vegetation variety was capitalized by the delimitation of paths and squares in granite, in a contemplative attitude towards the surrounding landscape.
Musealization of the Archaeological Area of Praça Nova do Castelo by João Luís Jorge Carrilho da Graça Architects located in London, England | The Hardt
The hill now occupied by the Castle of St. George is the first site of human occupation – dating from the Iron Age – that would transfigure in place the strategic elevation over the Tagus estuary and its interior territory that gave birth to the city of Lisbon. In the walled area, the Praça Nova do Castelo occupies an intramural promontory, delimited by defensive structures to the north and west, and by the Santa Cruz Church to the south, a promontory with a visual domain that extends over the walls to the East, from the city at your feet to the horizon of the estuary. An extensive archaeological excavation of this site, begun in 1986, exhibited traces of its successive occupation periods – settlement of the Iron Age, medieval Muslim dwellings and a 15th century palace – with the most relevant artifacts being removed and exhibited at the Castle Museum, the excavation being open to the intervention of protection and musealization.
This intervention addressed the themes of the protection, revelation, and reading of the palimpsest that any archaeological excavation represents, with a pragmatic intention to clarify the palindromic character that the exposed structures suggest in their spatial distribution. Thus, the first action was the clear delimitation of the archaeological site with a precise incision, comparable to the surgical incision in a living body. A corten steel membrane was inserted to contain the raised perimeter topography, allowing either access or a panoramic view of the site, evolving the materiality of this incision slowly and inexorably as a living tissue. The same precision of cut characterizes the elements inscribed in the site that allow the comfortable drift of the visitor – steps, skates, and benches, marmoreal and perennial – distinguishing them from the rough texture of exposed walls and foundations.
Descending to the excavated surface, to its simultaneous first spatial level and last level of occupation – the vestiges of a pavement of the Palace of the Bishops of Lisbon -, a console structure protects the mosaics, structure whose obverse is a black mirrored surface that returns to the visitor the vertical perspective on the pavement, this perspective that the elevated location of the pavement does not allow it to be direct. Moving forward on the site and in its timeline, the necessary cover for the protection of the eleventh-century Muslim domestic structures and the frescoes on which they subsist was taken as an opportunity to reproduce, through a conjectural interpretation, their spatial experience as a sequence of independent spaces organized around courtyards that introduced light and ventilation to dwellings otherwise enclosed outside. Declared abstract and scenographic, the white walls that enact the domestic spatiality of the two excavated dwellings float on the visible wall sections, anchoring themselves on the ground at the mere six points where these sections permit, while their translucent polycarbonate and slats of wood, filters the sunlight.
Underlying the entire archaeological site, the vestiges of the occupation of the Iron Age are exposed and protected by a compact volume that, in a spiraling movement, detaches itself from the bordering corten steel walls to embrace the well needed for its revelation. Massive and dramatic, this volume is punctually fenestrated by horizontal features that invite the curiosity of the observation of its interior, leading the visitor around the excavation pit to the point the view is unobstructed and both the physical and temporal distances of the exposed structures are made evident. The palimpsest of the site’s history is thus decoded and the possibility of its clarified temporal and spatial palindromic reading not only through the reading of the written information accompanying the visit, but above all, and significantly, through the experience built by the materialization of its protection and musealization.