House in Romeirão


The site has a strong rural character, with small plantations, orchards and pathways limited by roughly made stone property walls and, once in a while, houses, scattered in the landscape.
It is a steep slope facing south over the valley, furrowed by a small river and a mountain in the background.

In the transition of the landscape slopes, two clear references became the starting point for the project: a walnut tree and a watering tank.
The first site visits immediately suggested a volume lying on the slope, facing the entrance walkway and sheltering the house from the neighbours while opening the interior views to the southern valley.

The site’s natural beauty dictated the project. The house develops in an intimate relation with the ground: buried as the slope increases and eventually becoming part of the mountain where one can walk; floating while descending, detached from the slope.
A long volume was then drawn, like a line folded over itself and over the water tank and the tree.

Between those elements the primary exterior space was created.
Along the house volume, courtyards were excavated building spaces of intimacy and peace, generally lacking in an overexposed context: the entrance courtyard, the guestroom courtyard and the one of the corridor.
The edges of this tubular form bifurcate interacting in different ways with the exterior: the end of the main room is narrow and high overlooking the eastern valley; the wide and low end of the living room is suspended over the southern valley.

The private area of the house is serviced by an austere corridor whose ends represent opposite realities: the northern one opens to an intimate courtyard dug on the ground whilst the southern one opens to vast landscape, with the walnut tree in the foreground and the mountain in the distance.



Romeirão, Ericeira, Portugal

2001 - 2002
2002 - 2003

ARX Portugal, Arquitectos lda.

José Mateus

Nuno Mateus


Paulo Rocha, Marco Roque Antunes, Susana Ferreira

Lanscape Architecture

Rosário Salema


SAFRE, Projectos e Estudos de Engenharia Lda.


FS + SG – Fotografia de Arquitectura
Photography : Fernando Guerra
Production : Sérgio Guerra
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