TRAMA arquitetos was approached by a young family, who has a close relationship with architecture, to build their house in Northern Portugal. Photographed by João Morgado, the dwelling was designed to benefit from maximum sunlight throughout the day, and to take in the sweeping views across the mountains and valleys that surround the site.
“The intention was to surprise, to integrate the exterior surroundings with the interior environment, to merge spaces and create sensations, without discouraging functionality,” explains the design team.
Its name, Cork Trees House, reflects the fundamental role that the native vegetation played during the project development. “We started from the idea that the floor of the house should be in line with the canopy of cork trees, as if it were a garden that floats on the horizon,” continues TRAMA arquitetos. “Therefore, we designed a functional single-floor plan, occupying almost the entire width of the plot.”
As for materiality, the studio associated raw and natural materials that would merge with the surroundings. They started from concrete, stone, wood and steel. Outside, the exposed concrete merges subtly with natural shale and corten steel oxidized by time.
Inside, walnut wood provides comfort and a chromatic relationship with the roman travertine marble on the floor and the apparent concrete of the ceiling. “As a result, we achieved a project that is harmonious with the surrounding environment and is intended to be timeless,” the architects concluded.