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House in Espiche, Lagos

The strategy is based on a desire for continuity of two systems that intersect in the place: if, on the one hand, the intention is to continue the street and thus accentuate its still very marked vernacular characteristics, on the other hand, it is also to extend the green system that is very presently set here and whose logic and structure is borrowed for the proposal. This way, the new garden tends to participate in an articulated system of green areas that is highlighted, preserved and promoted here.

The building is limited, on the street plan, by a continuous white wall, identical to the currently existing one, but now disciplined and leveled, corresponding to the elevation of the roof on the house below and the one above, constituting, essentially, a retaining wall for an elevated garden, a façade that expresses the plain architecture that is promoted here. In fact, this wall generously extends the neighboring façade and the plan of the set of traditional buildings that follow it, down the street, contributing significantly to regularizing the street plan, with a low-height layout reminiscent of vernacular constructions and morphology.

Over the ground level, at the upper level, and taking advantage of the patio and the existing topography, the garden area extends to occupy the entire plot, with the exception of the area that corresponds to the patio on the floor below. In this garden that surrounds the patio and extends to the tank area, a recessed wall defines the privacy of the garden area. This plan anchors a trellis with an hanging garden that, in the Portuguese tradition of elevated gardens, adequately and gently establishes the relationship with the street, speaking the green space that is found behind. It also contributes to the establishment of the path that culminates on a bench which, rotated in relation to the street, looks out over the landscape and the neighboring buildings.

In summary, the proposal allows for the creation of a private and intimate atmosphere, typical of Mediterranean buildings of Arab heritage, whose compartments connect directly to the open-air patio, but also (and very especially) allow for the expansion of the garden to the upper level, which contributes to the establishment of a vegetation continuum that extends far beyond the plot in question, both towards the west and south and, more occasionally, to the south/east.


Pedro Matos Gameiro with Bart Verheyen and Lieve van Duyse

design team

Raquel Batista Pereira, Pedro Youssef, Joana França, Mariana Bacelar, Niccòlo Ansuinelli, Beatriz Rodrigues

landscape architecture

Raquel Batista Pereira, Pedro Matos Gameiro

structural engineer

João Paulo Cardoso (PRPC engenheiros)

HVAC air treatment and thermal conditioning

electrical engineering, acoustics

Mário Boucinha (Blue Orizon)


Augusto Macedo

project year


rendering matos gameiro arquitectos

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