Family houses

Arrábida, Sesimbra, Portugal

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House in Arrábida

João Calderia Ferrão, João Costa Ribeiro, Madalena Atouguia, D. Freire, M.J. Oliveira, S. Oliveira, T. Pinhal, R. de Jesus, R.Rodrigues, S.Hernansanz

FAD Awards finalist 2018  Architecture
Description Technical file

The Jury’s appraisal:A wall and a pergola. The essential solution in these twin houses in Arrábida is a delicate and intelligent adaptation to the plot and landscape. Drawing on Mediterranean tradition, they achieve an architecture that becomes nature. It is notable for its sensitive selection of materials, which give it an earthy character.

This project is located in Sesimbra, a small fishing town to the south of Lisbon, on an unconventional plot: on a slope, of large dimensions, situated 600 metres from the sea and extending from the town to the castle, delimited by a pine grove and an old Roman road. The landscape here is wildly beautiful, with dazzling views of the sea. The olive trees, fig trees and the pines grow on rocky, arid soil characterised by the reddish hue of the earth.

The clients, two sisters, sought to transform a small house built in the 1960s into a holiday home in which to gather friends and family together in summer. A holiday house should evoke its own universe. Can Lis by Jorn Utzon and Casa Rotonda by Cini Boeri are two examples: essential, intimate, generous houses, profoundly tied to the site and the culture in which they stand. Houses in which time passes differently and help us to physically understand where we are.

The first decision was to divide the house into two bodies to ensure each family’s autonomy. Like twins, they share the same properties and dimensions, but each one expresses itself slightly differently: one is taller, exposed to the landscape, searching for the sea; the other one is more secluded and horizontal, searching for a more intimate relationship with the surrounding terrain.

Given that due to legal restrictions it was not possible to exceed a 250-m² build, courtyards are introduced and a pergola created around the volumes to extend the spaces into the exterior, generating outdoor lounge areas with views of the sea, covered in vegetation, doubling the area of the house.

Embedded in the terrain, the house emerges as an extension of the rock, invisible on the slope. To achieve this effect, chestnut-pigmented concrete was used, tested innumerable times until an identical colour to the surrounding earth was found. Its surface, with the exposed concrete aggregate, is both rough and smooth to the touch, like a stone or an animal’s skin. To obtain this texture, all the concrete was poured at dusk, using a chemical process to delay curing, then stripping the surface layer in the early morning.

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Localización Location: Arrábida, Sesimbra. Portugal. Arquitectura Architecture: Extrastudio | João Calderia Ferrão, João Costa Ribeiro, Madalena Atouguia, Daniela Freire, Maria João Oliveira, Sónia Oliveira, Tiago Pinhal, Rui de Jesus, Rita Rodrigues, Sonia Hernansanz. Consultores Consultants: PRPC Engenheiros (estructuras), Naproge (agua y saneamiento), OHSMOR (acondicionamiento técnico y acústico, gas, instalaciones eléctricas, telecomunicaciones y seguridad). Paisajismo Landscaping: Oficina dos Jardins, Sónia Ferrão e Ines Bordado. Constructora General Contractor: Paviana. Superficie construida Built area: 250m². Ejecución Completion: 2016-2017. Fotografía Photography: Fernando Guerra | FG SG.
Fernando Guerra (Estudio FG+SG)
1900-271 Lisboa, Portugal