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Casa JC: a minimalist house carved on one of the slopes of Coimbra, Portugal by Mário Alves Arquiteto

Project name:
Casa JC
Architecture firm:
Mário Alves Arquiteto
Quinta da Portela, Coimbra, Portugal
Ivo Tavares Studio
Principal architect:
Mário Alves
Design team:
Interior design:
Built area:
340 m²
Site area:
Design year:
Completion year:
Civil engineer:
Structural engineer:
Environmental & MEP:
Tools used:
Brick, concrete, glass, wood, stone
Residential › House

Mário Alves Arquiteto: Inserted in a subdivision located in Quinta da Portela, Coimbra, the land is situated in the middle of the hill. Developing a house in this location becomes a challenge due to the natural profile that the land develops.

As such, the project idea is not to land a volume that becomes a dwelling, but to design a volume that conveys the idea that it was carved in the “site” (thus creating the feeling of union with the place) at the same time as it provokes the sensation that it is the volume that holds the hill itself.

The design for the project intends to take full advantage of the characteristics of the place, such as the unimpeded views and the excellent sun exposure. The proposed volume is composed of a design of decomposition and mass subtraction where it is intended to create outdoor spaces within the volume itself. In this way, we can create interior spaces that have interior exterior spaces as well as completely open to the exterior, being able to extend the interior to the exterior while safeguarding the privacy of the interior spaces. Its white materiality intends to expose the simplicity of the design of its contours as well as the simplicity of its organization/plan. The decomposition of the volume takes place in order to articulate the internal programmatic spaces of the house distributed on the various levels of the house with the unevenness of the terrain. In this way, the different spaces have a certain space outside the house to a certain sun exposure.

The relationship of the surrounding green space with the interior of the house helps to transform the building into a local element.

By Liliana Alvarez

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