casa nogueira · single family house

An agricultural land on the edge of the municipality of Alenquer overlooking the valley surrounding Arruda dos Vinhos, district of Lisbon. An almost virgin landscape, without infrastructure, where there was only an agricultural access that would be replaced in the meantime. Confronted by other lots with the same characteristics but abruptly limited by a cliff to the South and East in a particular situation of “promontory”.
The construction of a house in a place with these characteristics would not be simple and its location on the terrain was an important decision. Visually exposed along its entire southern front, the option was to implant the house with care not to disturb the mountain landscape, to move it away from the cliff, to orient it favorably in relation to sun exposure, and to protect it from the strong northerly winds.
The access conditions and consequent water and electricity infrastructures were altered with the construction of a new gravel road. Despite this beginning of ‘urbanity’ we could not limit the land with walls that could compromise this very special landscape. So, we opted for a wire fence with wooden stakes that with time would be covered with hedges or with the mountain vegetation present in the place and would also allow us to fence the cliff for safety reasons.
The functional program determined a house for a family with two children, an office, a covered garage, and a swimming pool.
The proposal presents two volumes placed on a foundation that ensures the unevenness of the terrain in the longitudinal direction, extending these into outdoor spaces that privilege the view due to their higher elevation. The two volumes comprise the social and private areas of the house and are divided by a vestibule that announces the main access and ensures circulation between the different rooms. The ground floor contains the garage and all the technical and support areas of the house and the pool. Outside, the pool and a small grassed area are protected from the constant strong wind by extending the walls of the basement.
The landscape, but also the size of the land, led us to preserve the character of the place, its morphology and native vegetative species. The structuring of accesses, paths, clearings and belvederes, introduce the support design for man’s shelter, his dwelling.

architecture: Susana Catarino / Hugo Azevedo

client: Jorge Nogueira

location: Cabeços, Santana da Carnota, Alenquer

collaboration: Ricardo Santos

project: 2003

construction: 2010

terrain area: 8500 m2

implantation area: 290 m2