Modular system allows to build houses among trees without cutting them

Floor plans and drawings
About Rebelo de Andrade Architecture & Design

Location: Vila Pouca de Aguiar, Portugal
Architects: Luís Rebelo de Andrade
Area: 55 m²
Year: 2015
Photographs: Fernando Guerra | FG + SG
Project Team: Luis Rebelo de Andrade, Diogo Aguiar, Raquel Jorge, Pedro Baptista Dias, Madalena Rebelo de Andrade
Structural Design: Modular System
Infrastructure Project: Scarlety Engenharia
Construction: Modular System
Project Coordination: VMPS - Eng. Vasco Portal

Eco Houses are born from a double conceptual root. On the one hand, the profitability of the Parque de Pedras Salgadas as a hotel tourism project, makes the option of rehabilitating the existing hotel or building a new one, becoming a project as slow as it is expensive.

On the other hand, the organic nature of the park ends up suggesting the implementation of these bungalows, of reduced dimensions compared to a conventional hotel and of much easier concealment in the existing grove.

Their main feature is their modularity. This fundamental feature continually transforms the experience of those who inhabit it. Any of the houses - made up of entrance and bathroom + living room + bedroom - allowed for a multitude of very different provisions, which resulted in the possibility of implementing them without having to cut any of the existing trees. Each house, in fact, coexists with a specific set of trees and integrates into this ecosystem without disturbing it. These are houses that, ultimately, want to be confused with trees. They want to be trees.

Although they do not differ from each other - an option due to the need to establish an atmosphere of security for guests - the versatility of the structure allows the relationship between public space and private space to be balanced and justified. The modules and decks are oriented so as not to impair the privacy of their occupants. Covered with slate plates, the feeling is that they are as old and organic as the park itself.


About Rebelo de Andrade Architecture & Design

The driving focus of the Rebelo de Andrade atelier is the design, development and implementation of projects that articulate the positions of the various interests involved – not always concordant – in the creation of architectural work. This involves respect for the customer’s sovereign desiderata, motivation and expectation nurtured in relation to the final outcome of the awarded project. However, as architecture is an art that to a certain extent is imposed on the public despite its will, national and local rules have been drawn up to minimise the possibility of it negatively influencing the quality of life of those who are exposed to its productions. Likewise, there is also a silent participant – the landscape – that requires thorough understanding and profound respect for its presence and form of manifestation.

The architecture of the Rebelo de Andrade atelier consists of striving to ensure that each project overcomes the existing divergences, delivering the best result possible to the customer, while in this process respecting the underlying rules and complementing the landscape in a harmonious fashion. The architecture of the twenty-first century embodies an ethical obligation to be parsimonious and efficient in the use of materials and energy. With this consideration present at all stages of the project, the Rebelo de Andrade atelier proposes virtuous solutions that favour indigenous materials and sustainability in relation to energy use. Likewise, and in an increasingly hyper-standardised world, respect for history and tradition is a fundamental component in the marking of a singular and distinctive identity. Knowing the place, its stories and the lifestyles of its inhabitants is not an accessory detail, but rather the actual foundation of a building that aspires to survive the inclement scrutiny of the future. In addition to this vertical vision of history and the communities throughout history, a contemporary atelier must be attentive to the world and to its changes, increasingly more sudden and unpredictable, in order to have access to tools that enable it to tackle any project in any place and at any scale. In our progressively crossborder planet, a synoptic vision and a multifaceted team are required, capable of analysing and projecting with a view to the future in order to be able to meet the needs of the present. The difficult task of articulating history and innovation, tradition and ecology, landscape and building is what makes architecture an art of overcoming like no other.

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Modular system allows to build houses among trees without cutting them