After an almost 4 year process of designing, planning and building, NOARQ completed in 2017 House ED&JO, a contemporary residence located in Famalicão, Portugal. The house sits on a rather unusual site situated in an urban area. The plot has a triangular shape and a slope from West to East. This presented the architects with a series of challenges which they managed to overcome by coming up with creative and practical design solutions.
This is a house which doesn’t seem to be bothered at all by the irregular shape and inclination of the siteIt’s as if the house totally dominates the slope, taking over the entire plot and using it to its benefitBecause of the unusual topography, this is a rather unique house, especially in the context or an urban residential area
You may have already noticed that some elements are a bit curious. For example, the house has a minimalist and very clean and fluid form but the stone walls that frame it are not. They seem to be much older than the house itself and to have their own individual identity. We weren’t exactly surprised to find out that there used to be an old single-family home on this site and that it had been demolished so this new residence could be built in its place. These stone walls, the garage and the entrance were the only elements that were preserved and incorporated into the new design.
The unusualness of the topography only made the house more special in a positive and inspiring wayThe design and the architecture of the house are influenced by the landscape in a direct and visible wayThe southern part of the house featured this curving roof which extends to form a sun shade
The slope was preserved as it was and the new house was designed to embrace the land and to communicate with its surroundings in a very natural and balanced way. Also, the slope and the unusual shape of the site dictated a certain arrangement of the interior spaces and a certain configuration of the functions. The garage and the storage area are situated below the elevation of the patio, at street level and the entrance is on the first floor, accessible via a set of stairs.
The curving shade swoops across the land creating a courtyard with a great sense of privacyThe way in which the facade arches and curves allows the house to stand out from the neighboring structuresA lot of emphasis is placed on the outdoor spaces and amenities which include a lovely garden and also a poolAlthough it’s quite difficult to distinguish between the ground floor and the one above given the sloping terrain, the difference is more visible from street level
The first floor contains the social zone, the service area and also the private zone which houses the bedrooms. The spaces are closed to the North for privacy and insulation reasons and they’re open to the East and South where they’re linked to the garden, the poolside area and to a series of patios. The Southern side of the house forms a curved shade cover which ensures a very smooth and natural dialogue between the building and the slope. There are four patios in total and their role is to let light into certain areas of the house and also to establish connections between the indoor and the outdoor areas.
It’s quite interesting how the house manages to maintain its intimate and cozy feel in spite of the openness of the site and of the designThe interior is bright and open which is expected considering the exterior design of this modern homeThe house is closed to the north but opened towards east and south where the interior spaces have large windows and sliding glass doors