The project is in Aroeira, a pine tree area, close to the Portuguese coast. Over the past years many of the pine trees were cut down to make space for new constructions.
For us, as architects, it was imperative to counter this careless trend of replacing pine trees with construction. Our aim was to integrate the building into the surrounding landscape, by choosing a strategic position to settle the house and by the selecting cork as the main covering layer - a camouflage between the trunks of pine trees.
The program presented to us by the client was based on the desire to build a special place where family and friends could gather. The house, on the one hand, should have a practical and playful character, which encourages an active social life, and on the other hand, it should allow the creation of a refuge for himself. The main goal was to create a house with spaces that connect with each other in a fluid way and that extend to the outside, merging the interior and exterior spaces into one.
In the design of the project, we considered the principles of sustainability, rationalization of resources and environmental design, using a set of passive solutions that contribute to the reduction of energy costs of the house, such as the definition of the appropriate solar orientation for the house, promotion of natural ventilation and lighting and the use of external shading systems.
For the landscape project we considered the region's climate and the increasingly accentuated scarcity of water. It was therefore decided to create a Mediterranean-style garden, choosing plants that do not require much maintenance, and avoiding grassy areas - covering the soil with gravel and pine bark, ensuring its permeability, without the need for watering.