A striking, angular new volume balances above the granite walls of a 74 year-old country house in Portugal. Named Casa Taíde, it is the latest offering by local architects Rui Vieira Oliveira and Vasco Manuel Fernandes.
The house's striking angular addition - folding to become the volume's walls and roof - replaced the existing wooden structure of the old house, while adding to it 60 sq m of living space across two levels. The extension unites the old and the new in this family home in the small town of Taíde.
The client - a couple with one young daughter - originally approached the architects with 'something simple' in mind. and the team obliged with a design that appears straightforward at first. However, the solution was informed by several key elements.
One half of the couple, having lived there his entire life, had particularly strong ties to the house and neighbourhood and so ideas of context and memory strongly influenced the design. Wanting to engage the surroundings in a 'friendly way' while at the same time protect the residents' privacy, the structure directly references the inclined roofs typical of the region, folding into itself to protect the interiors from the area's amphitheatrical nature.
These overarching folds also help compartmentalise the spaces, organising the interior and creating protected external areas for leisure and contemplation. 'It drew itself automatically,' explains Oliveira. The ground floor - rooted by the rock of an ancient grape mill that previously stood on site - houses the kitchen, guest bathroom, office and a double height living room. On the upper level, two bedrooms are accessed through a cantilevered staircase.
The project's environmental credentials include a pillar-beam construction and external insulation system ETICS, which ensure a good thermal performance. Inside, Carrara marble and Nordic pine are used to highlight and frame views inside and out, created by the roof's dramatic folds.
Oliveira and Fernandes' new residential design subtly reveals clues about its past, remaining rooted to its location, while at the same time it proposes a thoroughly modern architectural environment for the young family of three.