Guilherme Machado Vaz designed Afife House as a regular volume, compact and vertical, which evokes the traditional architectural language of the region.
The house is built in the north of Portugal, in a rural settlement that was established at the foot of the hill and expanded towards the plain, which is used as arable land, and extends to the sea.
The land is separated from a chapel by a walkway that stands on a base of granite walls with its entrance facing west, and it imposes itself in that area. Its presence had an influence on the project, particularly as regards the design of the volume, its implementation in the space, and the definition of the constructive details.
The house sought not to disturb the harmony of this religious space. At the same time it did not want to be submissive to its presence.
A square implantation was defined and repeated in the swimming pool and in the space between both.
The regular volume, compact and vertical, evokes the essence of a traditional type of construction in the region of Minho.
Another intention of the project was to respect the natural topography of the land. In order to comply with it, the building was adapted to the existing elevations through half floors, which allowed a direct relationship with the exterior on the South and West side of the house.
The useful space was capitalised on by the installation of the ladder in the center so as to minimise the circulation areas and promote the path that culminates in the roof terrace – the fifth elevation – where the discrepancy between the levels is clear through the volumetric organisation.
Analysing it a posteriori, this association of spatial elements carries with it some ‘Loosian’ reminiscences. There is a strong contrast between the exterior and the interior. The façade functions as a shell that occasionally allows, through openings, the contact between the house and the world.
Facts & Credits
Architect Guilherme Machado Vaz
Location Afife, Viana do Castelo, Portugal
Collaborators Construções Rafael Fernandes
Project Year 2018
Photography José Campos
Video Somewhere in Afife_Guilherme Machado Vaz from BUILDING PICTURES