House in Tavira by Vitor Vilhena Architects

House in Tavira by Vitor Vilhena Architects

Location: Tavira, Algarve, Portugal

Area: 400 square meters

Year: 2012

Price: $1.3 million


South of Portugal, outskirts of Tavira. During a walk, at the end of one of those hot summer days, with the sky showing all those magnificent warm colors, the client found “Monte Luz”.JM_Casa_Tavira_003
With more than a hundred years old, clearly shown through the wall textures of the old manorial house and the centennial olive and carob trees, this property, where one can catch the sight of the Atlantic ocean through the coast of Tavira, seemed to gather all the outstanding features and all the potential to develop the project that had long been coveted and taking shape in the minds of the client. A farm that would meet the needs of a three-child family, offering all the comfort without cutting form and function.


“Monte Luz” is located in Conceição de Tavira, a property with 60.000m2, characterized by a smooth topography, where there are 1400 olive trees and an existing building in ruins divided into three modules.


Program / brief

This project was developed to answer the following requests:
a) Site plan – obligation to respect the existing buildings boundary limits (composed by three separate volumes)

b) Function – housing: three bedrooms in suite, lounge, kitchen and toilet; secondary housing:

two guest bedrooms in suite; agriculture back-up facilities: laundry, parking, warehouse, office, basement and toilet.


Proposal / solution

One of the major constraints of the project was precisely the building boundary limits, according to the existing constructions, protecting the relationship between place and identity and the main character of this project: the “genius loci” of the place. Thus, the project was developed in three distinct modules rigorously implemented within the construction limits. The different needs to which each module should respond led in a natural and intuitive way to different characteristics and led them to be distinguished by their different geometries. Once the built volumes are defined, interstitial spaces arise from the confrontation between the three bodies, three geometries, three different ways of living space and time, which necessarily communicate with each other through glass-wall corridors that carry you through transparency and light, substance with which “Monte Luz” was designed and built. 


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