Santo Tirso House

The house is visible from the road, on a small hill, with a dark silhouette in sharp contrast to its natural environment, offering a wide view over Santo Tirso. Its simple lines are the reinterpretation of the stereotype of the traditional Portuguese house, gable roof.

The architects started by defning a northeast-southeast axis in the longitudinal direction of the land, oriented towards the best view. The main volume is aligned to this orientation and, in a playful reconfguration of the traditional house, it becomes remarkable in the landscape. A smaller volume is attached to the main one, completing the programmatic requirements of housing, as an allusion to the traditional annexes to the main house.

This volume begins from the entrance of the lot to create a kind of external decompression atrium. In the simplicity of the composition of these two volumes, an intuitive understanding of spaces is promoted, inviting us to enter.

In terms of the program’s distribution, the reception lobby is the first point of contact with the house, leading to the centrally located common areas: dining room, living room and kitchen. Spacious and generous, with lots of natural light, the common area is enhanced by negative space which is used as the extension to the outside pool and dining room, taking advantage of the rhythmic play of light in the afternoon.

This central block also separates two spaces that were meant to be independent from the outset: the southeast, housing the private area, where a corridor distributes the rooms and a small office, all equipped with exterior spaces accessible through glass doors that balance the visual and physical connections to the landscape of each room; the northeast, accommodating the technical areas of housing and work, with double height. Above those two areas, the traditional shape of the gable roof allowed the creation of a place for reading and studying, on a mezzanine.

Due to the simplicity of its interior design, with light, and minimalist smooth walls, the house offers a peaceful living space. This comes in contrast to the dark exterior, where the black plant tile and pine slats, together with the simple shape of the building, create a striking graphic silhouette against the landscape.


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