Malapatio final drawings, 3D, models, etc.

(2D and 3D by Cristina Vargas, M. Arch.)

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Rome drawings – March 2019

This gallery contains 13 photos.

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Malapatio first 3D’s model… (updating)

This gallery contains 12 photos.

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House in Vau – Algarve

FullSizeRender (9)

well it seems that case #3 has won. Welcome Malapatio!


These are some studies for a small summer house in Vau (Portimão). The lot is about 1.000 m2, a long and narrow trapeze in a small scope staring at the edge of a golf resort. The built area should be about 100m2 at ground level and 50m2 on the upper level. And you cannot build on a five-meter perimeter. Small, yes, so we´ve decided to make it look bigger and magestic. And maybe it will, actually…

Case #1 – “The Nautilus” or “The Serpent’s Egg” (thank you Dead Can Dance!)

Case #2 – “Flesh and bones“, “McBannak“, or “The unfinished story over some Scarpa’s folies“, inspired by The Cure’s “A Forest” (and my broken radius bone, surgical screws and scars!)

Case #3 – “Malaparte over a propylaea leading to a patio staring at the edge of a sea of grass” or, to put it simply: “The Malapatio” (sounds nice!)

Case #4 – “What-a-piece-of-junk” – aka “The Millenium Falcon en-pièces-détachées-comme-le-whisky-du-Capitaine-Haddock” or “How to sleep in an airplane reactor“, a steampunk methaphor about the client’s professional lifestyle.

In essence both the program, the basic geometrical pattern and the spacial narrative is almost the same in all the four cases (the climbing trough an almost cave course/ the vertical drama of a “pillars-trees” methaphor/ the arrival into the patio theme, etc). Only the style and the materials differs. Or starting the compositions with a square and square root of 2, or the golden ratio, but in the end, the song remains the same… (thank you Jimmy Page!).

Now, the problem is that the client likes them all! Specially case #1: “the Nautilus”, a spacial interpretation of Fibonnaci’s progression and golden ratio fractals with the same “dispositio” of the living, rooms, patio, kitchen, etc. This one could be built of clay, limestone, sandstone, sea shells, colorful stained glass and copper roofs (we could spend years building it, like in a Bruce Goff ‘s/Pancho Guedes fantasy). Of course, only one will be chosen, even if it will have some “DNA” of his brothers…



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in progress…

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Construction of “The Beetle” has began

IMG_20151108_171430Slab, walls and spans are all mounted with the “Styrostone” system. The concrete is injected into the previously reinforced and raised “hollow” wall (in fact, it’s an assembly of EPS “Styrostone” blocks). Therefore all the facings are concrete reinforced and isolated with an EPS sandwich inside and outside.


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My book about António Varela is released

My book about the modernist architect António Varela (1903-1962) was finally published by Caleidoscópio Ed. It’s a resumed and adapted version of my doctoral thesis, 2nd PRIZE ICAR-CORA 2011.

The book is available in paperback format.

António Varela o Legado do Invisível, Caleidoscópio Ed., Lisboa, 2015  [288 pp.], ISBN: 978-989-658-225-8.

CAPA AV 2015



The theme “Antonio Varela and the legacy of the invisible – composition, tracings and symbolic of an architect under the shadow of giants” proposes an interpretation for this architect’s silent path.

The complexity evidenced by architecture over this first Portuguese modern art movement can be explained by the very contradiction experienced within the international debate between Tradition and Modernity. Attempts to overcome this duality manifested through the production of “avant-garde” art and architecture, and had some impact on the relatively small Portuguese universe. In the specific case of Varela’s works, these are illustrated by their functional, programmatic, typological and symbolic aspects.

The foundations for the artist’s architectural production evolve around archetypal gestures denoting an ontological reflection of an hermetic nature based upon the Platonic-Pythagorean archetypology, which act as mental mechanisms processing the pre-composition architectural design. His most significant works convey this same poetic ideal throughout structures of signs in the space design, supported by the canons of geometry and the induction of a creative logos. For this transitional character, the process reveals the architect’s concern and reflection on aesthetics, and may well explain his own interpretation of modernity, achieved through the symbolic path.

Keywords: composition; tracings; symbolic; tradition; modernism.

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A work in progress about Leopoldo de Almeida statuary in the “Padrão dos Descobrimentos” monument (Lisbon).

teste011211       Padrao nasc04

01311               0201

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Six sisters


This one was done on demand from a group of six sisters born and raised in Goa, but nowadays spread all over the world. On the occasion of their annual meeting, they asked me to draw their portraits, but in some way related to their memories in India. They gave me some old photos and I ended up choosing their family house theme, but as if they were currently over there. Some were driven to tears by emotion, so I guess they’re still over there, somewhere in their minds.


btw: there’s six windows in the main facade…

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A selection from drawings in Almada expo back in 2011.

Sketchbooks in Almada: we are not perfect artists [catalog], City Museum of Almada / City Council of Almada, 29 January/16 April 2011; ISBN:978-972-9134-93-7

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