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A Portuguese U-Shaped House Built with the Elements in Mind

09.17.14 | By
A Portuguese U-Shaped House Built with the Elements in Mind

ColectivArquitectura designed the U-shaped Aroeira III House in Herdade da Aroeira – Alamada, Portugal to work with the elements of the land it’s built on, maximizing sun exposure. With a natural slope and nearby homes, they went with a horizontal design that was split into two levels, one being partially buried underground.

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The reinforced structure visibly shows concrete on the lower floor and is clad with a coating of Cumarú wood above.

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The U-shape form is built from three intersecting volumes that result in an open courtyard.

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The partially buried, ground level houses a two-car garage, entrance hall, storage, a support room with a private bathroom, laundry room, and bathroom for the pool.

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The swimming pool is right off the living room and faces both North and South and has views of the golf course.

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Floor-to-ceiling windows and doors on both sides keep sight lines open through the living room space, to the courtyard, and into the parallel volume.

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The lower level entrance stays light with the open staircase and wall of windows both upstairs and downstairs.

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White surfaces counterbalance the warm dark woods used throughout in most of the interior spaces.

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Photos by FG+SG – fotografia de arquitectura | architectural photography.

Caroline Williamson is Editorial Director of Design Milk. She has a BFA in photography from SCAD and can usually be found searching for vintage wares, doing New York Times crossword puzzles in pen, or reworking playlists on Spotify.