The concept for this house emerges from a reflection on the identity of Lisbon architecture, a recurring type of 6-meter-wide and 15-meter-long deep house, ending in a small garden in the back. It is a 5-storey building with two radically different elevations: one “public” in white lioz limestone (the most used in Lisbon) and the one in the back, in glass, connected by an interior world in exposed concrete, punctuated by birch wood elements.
The elevation obviously follows on the Lisbon tradition, stressed further by the windows’ rhythmic structure, opened in a span system created by horizontal strips and vertical bars – characteristic of the city architecture. Just as most of Lisbon’s old buildings, it is a flat elevation whose expressiveness comes from its rhythmic nature and the light-and-shade effects produced with the backing-up of its surfaces. This apparatus brings the elevation a sense of time, expressed by the change in the shadows throughout the day: from a more subtle morning light – with no direct sunlight – to the strong contrasting afternoon shadows.
At once a natural and staged space, of both contemplation and living experience, the garden is expressed as an archeological site, where all layers of time, since the house was built, are present. Here, one can still see the ancient techniques that have raised thick stone walls (often recovered from other buildings), later brick overlays, mortar or paint, as well as the stones from the demolished house that have become pavement.
from: ARX Portugal Arquitectos