Rui Grazina's latest residence yealds to difficult site topography in Barcelos
Mozambique-born architect Rui Grazina has completed a bold private residence in the historical Portuguese town of Barcelos. Construction began on the property in November 2008 and primary details were featured on WAN part-way through the building process; the project was completed in 2011.
Set in a green protection area on an ample plot of 3,300 sq m, the 300 sq m residence has been carefully moulded to the steep topography of the site with two storeys on the eastern side and only one on the western side. The living spaces within have been angled east to exploit the most inspiring visual aspects of the site location, with the key internal spaces facing south due to the quality of sun exposure, privacy and the relationship with the existing topography.
Large concrete slabs define the exterior of the building, disappearing into the ground on the western side as a section of the residence is sunken into the earth. Underground parking facilities are afforded by a load-bearing concrete frame which is topped with a light steel frame system and exterior insulation.
Two thick concrete walls produce a channel which welcomes visitors to the property, marking the transition between the entry level on the site and the actual first floor level. Internally, the house is furnished with a combination of solid and lacquered wood finishes and benefits from natural light which is permitted by the many large window panes.