House in Vau – Algarve

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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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