After an almost 4 year process of designing, planning and building, NOARQ completed in 2017 House ED&JO, a contemporary residence located in Famalicão, Portugal. The house sits on a rather unusual site situated in an urban area. The plot has a triangular shape and a slope from West to East. This presented the architects with a series of challenges which they managed to overcome by coming up with creative and practical design solutions.
You may have already noticed that some elements are a bit curious. For example, the house has a minimalist and very clean and fluid form but the stone walls that frame it are not. They seem to be much older than the house itself and to have their own individual identity. We weren’t exactly surprised to find out that there used to be an old single-family home on this site and that it had been demolished so this new residence could be built in its place. These stone walls, the garage and the entrance were the only elements that were preserved and incorporated into the new design.
The slope was preserved as it was and the new house was designed to embrace the land and to communicate with its surroundings in a very natural and balanced way. Also, the slope and the unusual shape of the site dictated a certain arrangement of the interior spaces and a certain configuration of the functions. The garage and the storage area are situated below the elevation of the patio, at street level and the entrance is on the first floor, accessible via a set of stairs.
The first floor contains the social zone, the service area and also the private zone which houses the bedrooms. The spaces are closed to the North for privacy and insulation reasons and they’re open to the East and South where they’re linked to the garden, the poolside area and to a series of patios. The Southern side of the house forms a curved shade cover which ensures a very smooth and natural dialogue between the building and the slope. There are four patios in total and their role is to let light into certain areas of the house and also to establish connections between the indoor and the outdoor areas.