V.N. Gaia - Portugal
1350 sqm
Completion Date
Bruno André

One building / Three houses
One world / Three families
The whole building / The single house
The intimate scale of the dwelling / The immensity of the Atlantic
The open views / The limits of the shelter
The construction / The garden
The heaviness of the concrete / The lightness of the wood
The open spaces between volumes / The closed program whithin
The social spaces / The private
The smoothness of textures / The slatted surfaces
The cold / The warmth


Aguda Houses are located in front of the sea, in direct relationship with the dunes and Aguda’s beach. The plot, previously occupied by a precariously constructed restaurant building, has now been rehabilitated for the implantation of a residential building. The requested program was a set of three dwellings with a clear relationship to the surroundings and generous outdoor spaces.

From the start, the intention was to create a single volume that could house the three dwellings and in which the reading of the whole would be more important than the individual reading of each of the units. In this sense, the horizontal lines of both the slabs and the openings were assumed to be dominant. The formal coherence of the whole is taken to the extreme of not perceiving the beginning and end of each of the dwellings. The volumetric articulation of the exterior is created by three main elements: the first, the exposed concrete slabs, with horizontal dominant elements; the second, the wooden boxes that fill and support the space between the slabs; and finally, the glass that limits the transparente interior.

At a programmatic level, the interior space of the dwellings is organized in a very synthetic way, with the basement containing parking, laundry, a service bathroom, and a support room. The ground floor contains the social areas of the living rooms and kitchen, as well as an office. On the first floor, there are three bedrooms, and, lastly, the access to the terrace provides a flexible space with a privileged view over the Atlantic Ocean. Despite the shared road access, each house has access and functional distribution completelyindividualized with private pedestrian access. The exterior spaces were the result of a careful implementation that sought to create two distinct areas: one more exposed and framed by the street, and the other more private at the rear of each house.

The chosen materials reflect a pragmatic approach to architecture and its materialization, using raw materials in their natural state. Dichotomies are sought between the hard and cold concrete in opposition to the soft and tactile wood. There is a contrast between open, transparent spaces and closed, opaque surfaces. The exterior materials are extended to the interior, with the ceilings in exposed concrete and the walls in wooden slatted panels identical to the ones found on the exterior.

The design of the houses at Aguda sought to reduce the artifice and architectural gesture to a minimum, opting for a language of reduced expression since the essential and differentiating factor was already there: the landscape. The Architecture only allows its enjoyment, protecting and sheltering the program.

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