Casa da Agrela

The design brief started with a premise from the client: A space for many books. Immediately, the architects’ imaginary drifted to the many classical renaissance libraries, with sliding stairs that reach the book stacks. The intervention designated a high space, with a clearly established hierarchy between the interiors.

The volumetric composition corresponds to the functional differentiation of the interior spaces, creating a roof as a restless mass with different heights. The roof also figures itself in a fifth façade.

The density and weight of the monolithic cover roof needed to be subverted and the idea of a levitating mass was introduced, resting upon slender wooden frames and glass. The resulting feeling of compression reminds users of their own scale as humans and evokes the ancestral importance of the shelter.

Time, always an important architectural component, becomes essential in the design of this project. The built elements – especially those in concrete – record the passage of time through their formwork texture. This formwork, similar in its variations to the roof skyline, features protrusions and recesses, generating changing shadows during the different hours of the day and giving a dramatic appearance to the facades. As time passes, the textured concrete will naturally age and will be more integrated in the rural surroundings. The same will happen to the wooden base, which will age beautifully, adding to the impression of the house.

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