Porto Academy 2018

House for a philanthropist      Project for Porto Academy 2018 workshop leader SO-IL

Porto is located in the estuary of the Douro valley which is very steep and therefore very difficult to build on. The empty plot which this project is planned on is located on a high position in the valley next to the Crystal Place park. It offers a great view towards the Ponte d’Arrábida

and the ocean. Because of its topography, the site is surrounded by stonewalls to support the  sloping ground, one of which cuts through the site. The house is designed to play off of the different elevations created by the the sloping barriers.

The room program is made for a single elderly man, who likes to have a lot of friends, and guests; with a particular taste in art. The building is divided in a very private manner for the philanthropist himself, and a public typology with an open kitchen, a dining room, a living space and four guest apartments. 

Four massive building volumes made of rough concrete are located orthogonal to the wall . These boxes seem to puncture through the hill, shaping the main structure of the building. With stairs and corridors crawling through the volumes, the hill and the walls act in a subtractive manner. Between these volumes and walls, a light wooden structure forms an additional space on top off them.

The differences between the clear and rational wooden addition as well as the playful caved massive structures define a special character, which is best noticeable by walking through the vertical landscape they are forming together.