Gafarim House: A Northern Monolith by Tiago do Vale Arquitectos

Gafarim House A Northern Monolith by Tiago do Vale Arquitectos

Project: Gafarim House
Architects: Tiago do Vale Arquitectos
Project Team: Tiago do Vale, María Cainzos Osinde, with Maria João Araújo, Camile Martin, Eva Amor, Hugo Quintela, Joanna Jakimiuk, Esra Arslam
Location: Ponte de Lima, Portugal
Area: 2949 ft2 (274 m2)
Engineering: Daengstudio L.da
Construction: Casas do Lima, Limiavez L.da
Construction Year: 2016-2018
Photography: João Morgado

This is a project of tense duality between vernacular principles and a neoplastic understating of shape, place and landscape. In a naturally fragmented and disconnected context, the Gafarim House offers monolithic, opaque volumes to the street, citing the compact, parallelepipedic masses of northern Portuguese popular architecture and adjusting its scale to the surroundings.

Gafarim House A Northern Monolith by Tiago do Vale Arquitectos 1

It appears with autonomy in its context -an independent object among independent objects- and, in its economy of shape and detailing, it distances itself from the post-rural decorativism that is the norm in today’s Portuguese countryside.

Gafarim House A Northern Monolith by Tiago do Vale Arquitectos 2

This exterior formal economy is contrasted with a generous, high-ceilinged, expansive interior space that incorporates the remote landscape. The entrance is a long transitional moment and a space in itself.

Gafarim House A Northern Monolith by Tiago do Vale Arquitectos 3

Evolving from the exterior, covered arrival space to its interior extension, from shadow to light and from opaque to transparent, this progressive contrast is an important representation of the duplicities and contradictions that define the theme of the project.

Gafarim House A Northern Monolith by Tiago do Vale Arquitectos 4

After the compressed, conditioned entering movement the space expands to a double-height volume that houses the social program of the house, reuniting under a same roof kitchen, dining and living room, citing the domestic organization of this region’s vernacular homes.

Gafarim House A Northern Monolith by Tiago do Vale Arquitectos 5

This is a space of great transparence, relating through a generous glass wall with the plot and the wide Minho views.

Gafarim House A Northern Monolith by Tiago do Vale Arquitectos 6

In spite of its transparency, opening to the northeast allows for a controlled relationship with natural light. Bathing in the morning light reflected by the water mirror and backlit by the infiltrating afternoon sun descending from the mezzanine, the changing natural light animates the architecture throughout the day and throughout the year.

Gafarim House A Northern Monolith by Tiago do Vale Arquitectos 7

Without any explicit separation, the private section of the house develops autonomously, with all bedrooms faced towards the southeast. A small interior patio serves both the master bedroom and the bathrooms. This patio is a device that allows the creation of a space that, though formally inside of the house, is symbolically apart.

Gafarim House A Northern Monolith by Tiago do Vale Arquitectos 8

Between vernacular and contemporary references, between blind volumes and open planes, the Gafarim House is a project about contradiction, opposition and provocation condensed in a simple, pragmatic structure.

Gafarim House A Northern Monolith by Tiago do Vale Arquitectos 9

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

To be updated with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.

The Crow’s Nest / Holiday House by AR Design Studio

AR Design Studio was approached by the clients who were looking to extend their holiday home on a cliff top on the South Coast. Half way through the planning process, the existing house catastrophically broke in half one night during a landslip.

PN House in Mexico City – an Ever-Present Sense of Indoor-Outdoor Living

Architect Yuri Zagorin Alazraki, founder of the Mexico City firm ZD+A, has designed PN House, a beautiful retreat home in Mexico City’s Lomas de...

45 Degree House Can Be a Solution for Sites with Extreme Topography

45 Degree House is a house with an interesting architecture designed by New Zealand studio BBC Architects.   This house takes advantage of the extreme topography...

MXMA Strike a Resonating Chord with Renovation of Historic RCA Victor Studio

Newsam Construction and MXMA Architecture & Design are proud to announce the rebirth of the former RCA Victor Studio in the St-Henri district, in Montreal. La Hacienda Creative, a leading Canadian sound creation studio, becomes the new tenant of the emblematic 5,000 sq. ft. (465 m²) space.

Sieroslaw House by Modelina Architecture

Sieroslaw House is an interior design project recently completed by Polish studio mode:lina™ architecture. Architects from mode:lina™ architecture studio once again took up the design of...

Modern Loft Interior Design by IDwhite Studio

IDwhite, an interior design studio founded by Renatas Šukys si Karolis Kasikauskas, has completed this modern loft interior in 2016. Designers have transformed a space...