House in Colares II by Frederico Valsassina Arquitectos situated in Colares, Portugal | The Hardt
House in Colares II by Frederico Valsassina Arquitectos situated in Colares, Portugal. In the dense pine forest next to Praia das Maçãs (Apple Beach) the house hovers over the landscape. We opt for a single volume with two distinct faces: a more closed one and another more exuberant and exposed. It marks the entrance in the blind elevation by a ramp that gently transports us to the interior of the house that in an unexpected way merges with the outside. The theme of being indoor and out, both inside and outside, is intrinsic in the atmosphere intended for a seasonal dwelling like this: all the spaces of the house have autonomous access from the outside. Thus, all the environments set up a strong relationship with the pinewood, the patio arises from this will and serves as a hinge between social and private area. In the room the space continuity is greater: two large planes of glass that run one over the other and open alternately to the porch. The few materials of the house create a unique atmosphere, the pavement inside and outside is the same – cement stroked – ensuring the unification of spaces.
The exterior porch due to its elevation relative to the terrain appears as a porch above the pine forest. If the house on one side is born from the land, on the other due to the natural topography delicately levitates on it. This solution appears in a way as a strategy of environmental comfort, the Sintra mountain range has a very high humidity level, with this solution decreases the transfer of moisture from the soil to the house. The program is simple and was thought to the place where it is, with the existing climate. In this way is intended the greater absorption of sunlight: Rooms facing south, an office that appears as a place of collective activities and opens for passage, room to the west and kitchen to the north. The large glazed windows allow the entrance of natural light in much of the day and therefore the heating of the space. Minimizing the effects on the natural landscape of the place, the pine forest was left as it was before this existence: the house is a platform that floats on the sandy terrain.
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.
House in Alcobaça by Aires Mateus situated in Alcobaça, Portugal | The Hardt
House in Alcobaça by Aires Mateus situated in Alcobaça, Portugal. The house designed in the historical center of Alcobaça is a record of overlapping times: A small building reconstructed to perpetuate the vernacular common scale, and a wall thoroughly shaped to house the quiet extension. On the existing building, a void is created by managing the thickness of the peripheral walls. An absence of space is freed collecting luminosity from a skylight that grants a private and protected atmosphere. The compartments appear as internal additions, connected to the exterior through reinterpreted windows in the façades, but proposing an unexpected internal space. The extension of the house takes the difference between two levels: The street level and the garden that is generated with the river Baça. The form of the new wall defines courtyards that mediate the contemplation to the exterior. The social areas, work as a spatial continuum that spread through the two times of the intervention.
Casa dos Claros (2015) by Contaminar Arquitectos located in Leiria, Portugal | The Hardt
Casa dos Claros (2015) by Contaminar Arquitectos located in Leiria, Portugal. This 2,260 ft² (210 m²) house is located in a small-scale chaotic urban area, surrounded by greenhouses and cropland. Occupying the entirety of the space, the house itself represents the borders of the plot, living around small patios. These in turn provide privacy and transport the user to a different type of space with a more introspective atmosphere, creating a composition of occupied and empty spaces on the plan and elevations.
The general geometry of the house, which appears to be rigid, is interrupted by circular openings that afford a poetic aspect to the spaces. The various axes are based on a 3,5×3,5 meters grid, organizing and providing discipline to space. In the center there is a patio that extends to the basement, delineating the separation of the social and private areas on the upper floor. In the more private area, another patio separates the suite from the other rooms. Adjacent to the kitchen is a third patio lined with sucupira wood, interacting with the exterior and creating a permeating effect between the inside and outside spaces. The same effect is achieved with the suite patio, as the spaces are hybrid, distinct and comfortable.
The two central patios of the house converge through a unique garden space in the basement, interacting with the gym space and a social space. Part of this garden extends to a mid-floor level and creates the separation between another patio and the basement, reserved for more technical functionalities. The basement space is characterized by the presence of concrete and zenith lighting, creating a more dramatic atmosphere. The two central patios of the house converge through a unique garden space in the basement, interacting with the gym space and a social space. Part of this garden extends to a mid-floor level and creates the separation between another patio and the basement, reserved for more technical functionalities. The basement space is characterized by the presence of concrete and zenith lighting, creating a more dramatic atmosphere.
Aroeira III House (2011) is a contemporary residence designed by ColectivArquitectura in Portugal, near a golf course (area of Aroeira). Situated in a dense pine forest, the hexagonal plot had no references to the choice of location for the construction. It was conditioned by ‘occupation zone’ defined by the Master Plan – a circle of 12.50 m radius centered a hexagon that defines the perimeter of the plot. To take advantage of the characteristics of the plot, sun exposure, the natural slope of the terrain and the nearby surroundings, we chose to define a volume in which the horizontality prevails and that, although split into two levels, the image of earthen construction does prevail by partially burying the lower floor level, in contrast with the verticality of the existing trees.
The construction with reinforced structure, and visible concrete on the lower floor, assuming the function of the material and with a structure and coating of Cumarú wood upstairs – with significant advantages in thermal and acoustic comfort -, develops in a U-shape form, defined by three intersecting volumes, forming an open courtyard to the West, limited, to the South, by the swimming pool. The ground level, partially buried, is occupied by a storage compartment in the basement area, a two-car garage, and the entrance hall, both with North facing access, a support room with private toilet and a compartment that serves simultaneously as laundry and a poolside toilet, the swimming pool being located to the east. There is also a small compartment for pool equipment, with access only from the outside.
Upstairs, the non-permanence areas, as the vestibule and part of the circulation areas, face North. The master bedroom, with toilet support, faces South and West, the remaining two bedrooms, also facing South, turn to the patio, the kitchen faces South and East, and the living room faces South and North, taking advantage of the visual threading on the pool and the golf courses of the allotment, as well as on the patio. The intervention in the landscape includes car access to the North area of the plot and was designed considering the preservation and reinforcement of the existing plant species.
Photography by Fernando Guerra | FG+SG
Aesthetically and Geographically Related projects:
House in Lisbon (2013) by ARX Portugal Arquitectos located in Lisbon, Portugal | The Hardt
House in Lisbon (2013) by ARX Portugal Arquitectos located in Lisbon, Portugal. The 5-story 4,693 ft² (436 m²) building with two radically different elevations: one “public” in white limestone (the most used in Lisbon) and the one in the back, in glass, connected by an interior world in exposed concrete, punctuated by birch wood elements. The elevation obviously follows on the Lisbon tradition, stressed further by the windows’ rhythmic structure, opened in a span system created by horizontal strips and vertical bars – characteristic of the city architecture. Just as most of Lisbon’s old buildings, it is a flat elevation whose expressiveness comes from its rhythmic nature and the light-and-shade effects produced with the backing-up of its surfaces. This apparatus brings the elevation a sense of time, expressed by the change in the shadows throughout the day: from a more subtle morning light – with no direct sunlight – to the strong contrasting afternoon shadows.
Besides a straightforward concern in aligning the elevation with the surrounding lines, the design stresses an obvious contrast between the block-type bottom, and the more dematerialized crest. If on the one, hand the ground floor responds defensively to the narrowness of the street, combined with the fact that neighbours park their cars in front of doors and windows, on the other, hand the top comes out much lighter and dematerialized: it is a space at once interior and exterior – a top patio allowing the transition between the lower building, to the south, and the higher one, to the north. Nevertheless, despite its intimate nature, the space allows a view over the surrounding landscape and to the far-off Christ the King statue to the south, with along the street line.
On the back elevation, we have explored the extreme transparency which extends the interior onto the exterior and opens up the view to the garden – where a splendid Linden tree takes center stage – leading the eyes from the top floors over Lisbon’s hills, the Tagus river, and the South Bank. Radically opened to the exterior, the generous morning light that floods in directly is balanced by the gray concrete making up all the surfaces. Inside, the precision of the design, as well as the inclusion of two doors in most rooms, endows the five small floors with a sense of a generous space, and give its dwellers a strong feeling of fluidity and freedom. The constructive research for this project provides an example in which the whole structure shapes the space and becomes architecture in itself: the whole concrete structure, built with only 3 planes – two gables and a transversal plan – is set forth and designed to define the essential house space.
At once a natural and staged space, of both contemplation and living experience, the garden is expressed as an archeological site, where all layers of time, since the house was built, are present. Here, one can still see the ancient techniques that have raised thick stone walls (often recovered from other buildings), later brick overlays, mortar or paint, as well as the stones from the demolished house that have become pavement.
House In Leiria by Aires Mateus located in Portugal | The Hardt
House In Leiria (2010) by Aires Mateus located in Portugal. The functions of the house are banal: a house divided in private area with bedrooms and social area with living-rooms. The private areas are at street level under the plot, around a central courtyard with rooms opening to private patios in an intimate environment. The living rooms are around a void, that collects light from above and gazes the castle at the city center. The house is a recognizable archetype emptied of its center by the light designed by a three-story-high courtyard that opens horizontally at the garden level. The bedroom courtyards, revealed in the garden, relate with this archetypal object providing different readings on its scale. Scale and volume are controlled in a chaotic context, with a clear identity that from its core relates with the historical legacy far away: the Leiria Castle.
School in Vila Nova da Barquinha by Aires Mateus located in Vila Nova da Barquinha, Portugal | The Hardt
School in Vila Nova da Barquinha by Aires Mateus located in Vila Nova da Barquinha, Portugal. The universes we attend in childhood tend to linger in our memories. It’s the time when we interact with architecture in a more free and genuine way. It is when we settle appropriations and intuitively hierarchize values of architecture. We are interested in identifying the assets that are esteemed by all and design the memories that will be formed. In a not confirmed territory a squared perimeter is set: autonomous and clear. The need for different functions in school is the pretext for establishing distinct spaces. Each compartment is a separate experience in terms of scale, proportion, and identity. The aggregation of all volumes defines its external iconographic value. Inside, a protected interstitial space is defined, infinite by not disclosing its beginning or end, and used as a recreational venue.
It is the structure of void and occupation that mimics the principles that have always been part of urban agglomerations. A replicable opening, suited for all purposes is chosen, and a wall and ceiling finishing is defined for all spaces. The judicious economy of these elements brings out the diversity of spaces. The intensity of this new universe is proposed by the peaceful succession of moments.