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 a 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 (2010) 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.