The project is located at a peripheral area of the city of Braga with no relevant urban references. The developer was about to start building nine individual houses when the economic crisis hit and we were called in to define a new strategy.
Our proposal consists of twelve houses of smaller dimensions, designed as a single volume, economically viable, therefore affordable to potential buyers. This change led us to radical design decisions – we have buried the parking floor and created a single access connecting to all the individual garages. On one side of the plot, one finds the access ramp, on the opposite, a vertical access core to fulfill the required legal safety demands.
This solution allowed us to free up the ground level and therefore make the best use of the space as usable area for each house. Parallel walls run across the length of the plot dividing and defining each house as well as supporting the upper floor single monolithic volume. Facing the street, another wall of the same height, continuous, punctured by the individual entrances, defines a private courtyard for each house that together with the south garden, makes them completely open to the outside at the ground floor level.
The first floor encloses the more private areas of the house – three bedrooms as required by the developer – and a second courtyard that allows the southern and western light to flow throughout the open stairway acting also as a ventilation system during summer time.