The EN125A22 house addresses the relationship between the architectural object and four types of mobility. Located above the intersection of the main roads of the Algarve, the house operates as a mechanism able to recognize, use and represent different types of mobility. These definitions allocate different users and uses:
01. infrastructure of mobility (street, house, view) – as an object of desire- the house occupies a position in the valley that privileges the visual relationship with the movement of the road and of the highway;
02. Individual movement (drive-in) – the physical limitations of one member of the family required a specific programmatic articulation of the house;
03. movement of the family – the life expectancy of the same member of the family precipitated a mutation of the family structure;
04. Community – considering the growth of the family and the inevitable dislocation of it’s members, the owner of the house will transform it into a hotel.
According to these requirements, the house should accommodate diverse types of transition. With this in mind, a series of programmatic and constructive principles were defined:
(1) the house occupies the highest point of a very steep plot controlling the best views of the valley;
(2) an elevator makes every floor of the house accessible for somebody in a wheelchair;
(3) The constructive system and layout allows for a faster construction and maximizes the flexibility of future uses and program;
(4) The interior space should be as open as possible and divided in two main programmatic areas: the public house with living room, kitchen and two bedrooms; the inner house comprising the master bedroom, a single bedroom, laundry, small kitchen, living room and the cellar for the wine storage.
The private house program is placed below on the topography acting within the former ground support walls as a non-build object. Painted in black is a non-shading surface. However, the public and exposed program rest above it, detached from the ground as a straight white volume.
The white volume, containing the public indoor and outdoor (rooftop), remains untouchable from the outside and opened from the inside toward the valley and highway. Finally, a transversal stair on the side creates a unique interior quality connecting all the floor of the house.
The interior of the house is based in three different mutations: hidden in the cellar and basement; open inside the white volume; and ephemeral on the rooftop. Immersed in the geographic transition of the valley – Northwest-Southeast – from Monchique mountains to the sea side,
The house experiences a multiple scope of views among the six main landscape events: the Monchique Mountains, the Sea, the Highway, the National Road, the Aquatic Park and the small village of Vale de Lousas. These landscape entities appear in this house not only as observed objects, but also as the means by which a rational inner space becomes a complex and rich mechanism of multiple scalar relations. Source by Ricardo Camacho, Gilda Camacho.
- Location: Algarve, Portugal
- Architect: Ricardo Camacho, Gilda Camacho
- Structure: Rochato-Engenharia Civil Lda.
- MEP: Luis Camacho
- Construction: CasaGranturismo
- Photographs: Nelson Garrido, Courtesy of Cátia Brandão
Article by Marco Rinaldi