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House in Possanco


The cultural meeting point joining the house owners and the architects was based on their common interest: an undoubtedly contemporary architecture, but one whose nature and final expression would also be the outcome of a research of the paradigms figuring in the traditional architecture of the region, the Alentejo.


The implantation terrain of this small house, located in the village of Possanco, sets the transition area between the new urban strip and the protected agriculture zone. An extensive northbound plain ends far away at the splendid Arrabida mountain ridge. Sparse water spots of the river Sado spreading, and the Atlantic Ocean defining the horizon complete this scenario of a bold pictorial expression.


The owners wanted a small vacation house that allowed a casual and relaxed enjoyment of their weekend when escaping the urban everyday stress. Our minds were for so long populated by images of the so-called popular architecture, produced before the technological era. They are small houses with sometimes asymmetric roofs, with one of the two garrets longer, almost disproportionate, reinforcing the compact aspect of volumes very much committed to the land where they are built. These long roofs make the houses cosy during the extremely hot summers and yet sober in the winter. The presence of these houses on the Alentejo plains, allied to the whiteness of their lime painting bringing out an almost abstract figure, compose portraits of a singular and surprising beauty.


The first relevant constraint is the triangular shape of the small lot which, when applying the legal distance measures, almost does not allow any formal alternatives. Conceiving the house had still to face a paradox: the most interesting views stand to the north and not south, where the windows should be placed in their quest for light. At south there is the street, traffic and passers-by whose look inside the house owners wanted to avoid.


These two aspects ended up being the key-features of the project and the solution would end being the introduction of yet another paradigm in traditional architecture: the patio

The volume is determined in blueprint by the regulated distances. In profile, the maximum height permitted is reached by the back wall (2 floors) and the front wall, facing the street, stays with the minimum height possible (1 floor). To the passer-by, the result is a house of deformed perspective, in axonometric projection.

這兩個方面最終成為該項目的關鍵特徵,解決方案最終將是在傳統建築中引入另一種範式:露台體積在藍圖中由規定的距離確定。從側面看,允許的最大高度由後牆(2 層)達到,面向街道的前牆保持盡可能低的高度(1 層)。對於路人來說,結果是一個變形透視的房子,在軸測投影中。