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Trofa, Porto, Portugal


author  NOARQ - José Carlos Nunes de Oliveira  program single family house  collaborators arch. Diana Fernandes, arch. Marlene Maciel, arch. Renata Santos, arch. Gonçalo Ferreira structural project  A400 – eng. Francisco Bernardo  hydraulic and acoustic project  A400 – eng. Francisco Bernardo electricity, telecommunications and security GPIC – eng. Fernando Aires gas and AVAC project  eng. Raul Bessa – GET  contractors Pedro Sousa - Sociedade Unipessoal, lda.  photography  João Morgado  area 337.40  m²




A single-family dwelling. A 1500 m² plot of land in Trofa. From Rua do Carvalhinho to the north, the topography drops 2.4 m to the adjacent road to the south, the EN104. In the east, the elevation of the abutting soil rises 2 m above the land. We demolished the old farming house facing the road made of soft stone and clay with a packed earth floor. An urban annoyance. We kept the square schist well, the old fruit tree and the location of the old accesses to the land on the north and south sides. The geometric reasons for the proposal were in place – tree and well.
We tried an "S", we failed.
Then a "4", and we failed again.
An "H" emerged, occupying the center of the plot: the "legs" embrace the tree and the "arms" go around the well.

The "H" has a social patio to the south, sheltered from the slanting east and west sunlight and protected from the predominant north-westerly winds; the entrance patio is to the north. The house has a single floor (as if) carved from the earth. A high threshold grants access to the landscaped roof.


The centre of the volume houses the most frequently used areas for the inhabitants and daily activities: entrance, distribution, services and meals. The west wing is reserved for meeting, relaxation and services such as the bathrooms and laundry. To the east there are two bodies connected to the central volume (stretching northwards and southwards) to make up the rest of the "H" and these are used as a garage and the lounge area.

The original schist walls were reworked, extended and rebuilt because of the landscaping obligations in Rua do Carvalhinho.


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