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House in Tróia / BICA Arquitectos

Jul 21, 2023Jul 21, 2023

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Text description provided by the architects. The house sits in a landscape of immense natural beauty, facing the sea and being aligned with many neighboring buildings. The two key principles that defined the project were the importance of preserving the environment, based on ecological support – and, more specifically, protecting the dunes and the local vegetal species – as well as the need to ensure the inhabitants' privacy. Drawing from these ideas, a large dune was carefully shaped and covered with native plant species, surrounding the house.

This dune reinforced the context´s natural characteristics and, at the same time, favored local sustainability since it was created with the sand that was removed from the nearby constructions. Complementarily, a long palisade in fir wood was erected to preserve the new dune, and which defines the perimeter of the construction while subtly concealing the various volumes that the house comprises.

Inside, along a central and lengthy corridor, the house's private spaces are symmetrically located and interspersed with courtyards – in which the previously existing plant species, such as pines, eucalyptus, and shrubs have been kept. At the end of this corridor is located the house's social area, which privileges the relationship with the landscape, and is open to the exterior, in a part of the terrain where the neighboring constructions are no longer visible.

The pool's design anticipates the sea – which is a few meters ahead – and its access is given through a ramp covered by a sand-based mortar – which establishes a continuity with the dunes. The leisure area extends to the roof terrace, from which the sea is visible. The house's constructive solution is in line with the resort's principles: a main-bearing steel structure with a light steel frame covered with OSB panels and thermal insulation finished with sand-based mortar on the walls.

A similar finishing was brought to the interior and applied to the floors, resulting in a harmonic whole with the surrounding. Travertine was chosen to include de palette of materials as it is the stone that more closely resembles the sand layers. This palette wouldn't be complete without bringing the fir and ash woods for the exterior and interior furniture, contributing thus to the definition of a whole that establishes a continuity with the landscape.

Susanna Moreira