Design Team: Marques Franco Arquitectos
Engineering Studies: Ricardo José de Abreu dos Santos Pena
General Building Company: Vodul
Client: Graça Pires, Emanuel Pio
This house was designed around the premise that, in such a special place, architecture couldn’t ever compete or obstruct the nature around it. In order to fulfill that goal, the building was placed to be as close as possible to the century-old oaks and chestnuts without ever touching them. The house is reached from above and placed on a sharp slope, this combination of factors places the eye level of the habitants in line with the top of the tree, in permanent color shift and movement motivated by the wind.
Located in the north of Portugal, where the vegetation is both dense and always shifting this house aims at getting better, more closely connected to nature; in the short period of construction that is already visible, vines start to take control and the higher branches are already touching the glass, the fusion has started.
From the inside that connection is obvious, the exterior walls are all glass and it’s the furniture that defines the living spaces among an open floor plan, it’s always possible to see through the different spaces, the vegetation outside.
The amazing owners, Graça Pires and Emanuel Pio, a painter and a history art teacher, were instrumental to the process and gave us complete autonomy, with their spirit and such an amazing place all we tried to do was to make the house get out of the way.