Three Cusps Chalet by Tiago do Vale Architects / Portugal

- Advertisement -

Three Cusps Chalet

Recent winner in the American Architecture Prize, the Three Cusps Chalet is a very peculiar building, documenting this region’s history and diaspora, and combining typical 19th century Portuguese architecture and urban design with an unexpected alpine influence. This influence was brought by an historic wave of rich Portuguese returning from Brazil in the eighteen hundreds (significantly influenced by central-europeans building Brazil’s second industrial revolution).

Conceived as an annex serving the small palace by its side and siting at the heart of both the roman and medieval walls of Braga, this is a particularly sunny building with two fronts, one facing the street at West and another one facing a delightful, qualified block interior plaza at East, enjoying natural light all day long. The program of Three Cusps Chalet asked for the cohabitation of a work studio and a home program.

Three Cusps Chalet 1

The building’s identity had been lost in 120 years of small unqualified interventions, over-compartmenting it, closing it to the street and to the light. Its façade was equally adulterated: modern aluminum window frames and exterior shade head boxes changed the openings’ stereotomy, the building’s scale and detail, and disrupted the original sense of the street.

Three Cusps Chalet 2

The goal of this design was to clarify the building’s spaces and functions, returning it to its original image, constructive techniques and (mainly habitational) program, while simultaneously making it fit for today’s way of living, giving it back to the city and potentially constituting a model for future rehabilitation projects in the neighborhood.

Three Cusps Chalet 3

The façade was restored to its original glory, reinstating the original wooden window frames and preserving the delightfully decorated eave. The interior recuperated the original spacial and functional distribution, wooden floors and ceiling structures and the original staircase, while introducing Portuguese Estremoz marble on the wet areas and ground-floor.

Three Cusps Chalet 4

A 1,5 m height difference between the street and the block’s interior plaza allowed to place the working area on the ground level, turning it westward and relating it to the street. This façade is bathed with the afternoon light.

Three Cusps Chalet 4

The domestic program relates with the interior plaza and the morning light. The interior plaza is punctuated by several orange trees: these provide a delicious shadow during the summer and display a beautiful show during winter, covered with bright fruits.

Three Cusps Chalet 6

Given the reduced area of the building, the original strategy of hierarchizing spaces by floor was followed. The stairs are narrower with each flight of steps, informing the changing nature of the spaces it connects. The staircase geometry efficiently filters the visual relations between both programs while still allowing for natural light to seep down from the upper levels.

Three Cusps Chalet 7

The first floor of Three Cusps Chalet was kept for the social program of the house. Refusing the natural tendency for compartmentalizing, the staircase was allowed to define the perimeters of the kitchen and living room, creating an open floor with natural light all day long. Light enters from the kitchen in the morning, from the staircase’s skylight and from the living room in the afternoon.

Three Cusps Chalet 8

Climbing the last narrow flight of stairs we reach the sleeping quarters where the protagonist is the roof, whose structure was kept apparent, though painted white. On the other side of the staircase there’s a clothing room, backed by a bathroom.

Three Cusps Chalet 9

The white color is methodically repeated on walls, ceilings, carpentry and marble. The clothing room is the surprise at the top of the building. Both the floor and roof structure appear in their natural colors, surrounded by closet doors constructed in the same material. It reads as a small wooden box, a counterpoint to the home’s white box and to the marble box of the bathroom. Courtesy of v2com

Architects: Tiago do Vale Arquitectos
Project: Three Cusps Chalet
Location: Sé, Braga, Portugal
Builder: Constantino & Costa
Area: 165 m2
Photography: João Morgado

Three Cusps Chalet 10

Three Cusps Chalet 11

Three Cusps Chalet 12

Three Cusps Chalet 13

Three Cusps Chalet 13

Three Cusps Chalet

Thank you for reading this article!

- Advertisement -

Instantly Captivating Wood and Graphite Apartment in Poznan

The challenge for Metaforma Group designers was to combine the spatial needs of both Investors. One of them is the collector of red Ferrari cars, the other one – music disks.

Ned Shed – Ski & Bike Getaway in Colorado / Fuentesdesign Architects

The “Ned Shed” is a recently completed home designed and built by fuentesdesign architects outside of Boulder, Colorado. The 2000 square foot, 3-bedroom ski & bike getaway has epic views overlooking the Colorado Continental Divide

Westlake Homestead / Michael Hsu Office of Architecture

Westlake Homestead is an old residence situated in the western part of Austin, Texas. Its structure has recently been redesigned and new compartments were...

Collection of Colorful Lamps Designed by Polish Studio Profizorka

We create custom lamps that we specifically design according to our clients' needs or particular interiors. We can adjust the lamp for a particular contract, change length, height, colour or anything you would like.

Modern Vacation Cabin Modeled on Traditional Scottish Longhouses

A strikingly modern vacation cabin modeled on traditional Scottish longhouses of the region, Glasgow based architects Dualchas have captured the cinematic quality of the landscape through a simplicity of gesture, spearheading a bit of a renaissance in architecture in the Highlands region.

Sustainable House Randwick / Day Bukh Architects

Sustainable House Randwick is an addition to a dark Federation style semi detached dwelling in Sydney's inner suburbs. The project was completed by Sydney-based...

Valley Family House / Luciano Gerbilsky Arquitectos

Valley Family House is a 580 meter construction, built on a 5,000 square meter lot in a gated community called Valle Santana in Valle de Bravo. The lot has a complex surface, with a 35% incline which makes construction a challenge but provides a grand view.

Family Farmhouse Built With Salvaged Materials from an Antique Barn

The owner’s goal was to create a lifetime family home using salvaged materials from an antique farmhouse and barn that had stood on another portion of the site. The timber roof structure–as well as interior wood cladding and interior doors–were salvaged from that house and combined with new, sustainable materials

Sardenya Apartment by Raul Sanchez Architects

The previous state of the Sardenya apartment belonged to a way of living incompatible with the requirements of the new owner. These new requirements, even starting from the domestic conventionality, left enough freedom to treat the new apartment in a less corseted way.

Pine House, Alterations and Additions by Bryant Alsop Architects

Presented with an Edwardian house wrapped in a stoic 1990s renovation, the conversation quickly turned to what to keep, re-use or remove. The natural response was to demolish and start again, but with strong bones

Deep Point Road House by BFDO Architects

A 1950s ranch house failed to make the most of its 17-acre site overlooking two converging creeks. The owners wanted to enlarge the house and take advantage of the sweeping vistas and light reflected off the water. The Deep Point Road house was torn down to its foundation, which had to be kept in part due to the building’s proximity to the water.