M&V House

Type: Construction of a single-family house
Client: Private
Location: Oliveira do Bairro, Portugal
Status: Settled
Project Author: Maria Fradinho
Team: Ana Rita Luís, César Pereira, Ana Rita Gomes
Project Date: 2017-2019
Plot Area: 1560 m2
Implantation Area: 260 m2
Construction Area: 420 m2

The characteristics of the land were the basis for the projects of construction of this single-family house, located in Oliveira do Bairro, in the center of Portugal.
It admits a pronounced morphology, with a variation of about 5m, between the two ends of its width. It also has an irregular shape, and it is subjected to a diverse and complex legislation being regulated by several entities.
Once the width of the terrain is smaller than its length, and in order to achieve the programmatic requirements, the building’s main elevation becomes transversal to the street, also allowing the building to relate to the surrounding space in a larger extension.

The building’s positioning is conditioned by the restriction imposed by the city urbanistic laws, because part of the terrain cannot be built. Therefore, it is located in the north part of it and it’s oriented to the southeast, in order to enjoy the views and the desirable solar exposition. However, this condition separates the building from the terrain’s entry point. Thus, in order to access from the low level of the street, a ramp was proposed to guarantee a comfortable way to reach the house and, at the same time, to create a barrier between the road and the building. This ramp and it is contiguous green space create layers that make up the front profile of the street, where you can see the building in the background, being it’s view interrupted by vegetation and a concrete wall.
In order to ensure compliance with the legislation regarding the protected area, the morphology of the terrain of this zone does not change, and the only floor covering is the one for the ramp, which, in order to guarantee the minimum of waterproofing, is gradually placed in a non-continuous and almost random way of game like “here and there”.

You get to the building through its higher floor. The volume recedes to welcome us into the interior space, cozy and intimate without windows, and then you are forced to descend to finally get an intense view over the garden, through a wide glass facade.

At the first floor there are technical rooms such as the garage, the storage rooms, engine room and laundry, but also an office served by a terrace. Thus, the main body of the house is at the ground floor, which contains the 3 bedrooms, the living room and the kitchen, and where all the compartments have access to a joint porch, which unifies them and allows the constant connection between the interior and exterior space.

The house, simple and functional, articulates the complexity of the terrain with the programmatic will, through a solid and unitary volume on a regular bases and turning southeast, in a strong and cohesive elevation.