Chestnut House

Chestnut House

Architect
Joao Mendes Ribeiro
Location
Vale Flor, Mêda, Portugal | View Map
Project Year
2020
Category
Private Houses
José Campos

Chestnut House

Joao Mendes Ribeiro as Architects

Chestnut house is located in Valeflor, in the north of Portugal, a rural area densely occupied by chestnut and oak trees, which extend on a slope facing East-South, with the Serra da Marofa as background.

photo_credit José Campos
José Campos
photo_credit José Campos
José Campos

The first visit to the site revealed a large secular chestnut tree that became the motto for the development of the house project. Under this chestnut tree, invoking the concept of the genius loci, a “shelter” house was designed: the Chestnut House.
The intervention sought to be as less intrusive as possible, keeping the original character of the land practically untouched and without affecting the shelter tree, around which the house is implanted, molding itself to its imposing morphology and merging with the landscape.

photo_credit José Campos
José Campos
photo_credit José Campos
José Campos

The construction is made of a light and over-elevated structure, whose volumetry and materiality relate to the terrain in the most harmonious way possible, without affecting the chestnut roots.

photo_credit José Campos
José Campos
photo_credit José Campos
José Campos

The design of the building and the choice of materials comply with sustainability principles, energy and low carbon solutions that tend to be sustainable in order to minimize the environmental impact of the construction. All the structure is in certified wood, covered with oriented strand board (OSB) and cork panels, with thermal and acoustic characteristics. In the exterior, both facades, roof and deck are covered with modified wood, painted black. This material respects the natural properties of wood and guarantees its durability and dimensional stability. The walls and ceiling, as well as the furniture, are made of birch plywood, which gives a warm and welcoming atmosphere to the interior of the house.

photo_credit José Campos
José Campos
photo_credit José Campos
José Campos

The perfect geometry of two associated cubes (4.1 meters edge) is broken and tensioned by the tree trunk and its branches, opening the building towards the tree canopy, which amplifies the presence of the landscape.
On the elevations there are small and large openings that relate with the sundial or with the landscape. Large openings connect the interior space with nature, while small openings, concealed by the outer covering of darkened modified wood, guarantee privacy in internal spaces.

photo_credit José Campos
José Campos
photo_credit José Campos
José Campos

In a critical reflection on Living, the aim was to transform the minimum space into comfort and sustainability. The interior organization of the house is designed in function of minimum space, that allows to minimize the external volumetry and to guarantee a functional and comfortable use of the internal spaces. The house accommodates, in a single space, the convenience and kitchen areas, the living area and the sleeping space, with the possibility of placing an extra bed on a mezzanine.
The living area is deeply connected with the outer area through a large window that extends the interior space outside and onto the wooden deck platform, enhancing a dilution of the interior / exterior border and frankly allowing outdoor living. There is no living room, but there is a mediation space between the interior and the exterior, because the living room is under the chestnut canopy.

photo_credit José Campos
José Campos
photo_credit José Campos
José Campos

The chestnut house reveals, throughout the year, the changes of the season and the weather - it is a barometer object, that subjects to the mutations of nature, in its textures and colors, which is, simultaneously, an extension of nature and of our body. It is the changing game of nature that determines the life of the inhabitant.
Unlike the idyllic image of the landscape as a fixed frame of time, the design of this house takes into account the unstable and the unpredictable, seeking to express an architecture in close symbiosis with the surrounding landscape.

photo_credit José Campos
José Campos
photo_credit José Campos
José Campos

Team:

Architecture: João Mendes Ribeiro

Collaboration: Ana Maria Feijão (project coordination), João Fôja (site coordination), Catarina Fortuna, Dominika Van Eenbergen, Filipe Catarino, Joana Brandão, Pedro Teixeira

Structural Engineer: Armando Vale (Raul Serafim & Associados)

Hydraulic Engineer: Maria Alexandra Vicente (Raul Serafim & Associados)

Electrical Engineer: Raul Serafim (Raul Serafim & Associados)

Mechanical Engineer and Thermal consulting: Bruno Henriques (Raul Serafim & Associados)

Security Measures and Fire Consulting: Maria da Luz Santiago (Raul Serafim & Associados)

Contractor: Civifran Construções, Lda

Photography: José Campos, João Mendes Ribeiro

Caption
Caption
Caption
Featured Projects
Latest Products
News
31 design studio pictures an embracing abode amidst a coconut forest in Haikou
6 Oct 2022 News
31 design studio pictures an embracing abode amidst a coconut forest in Haikou

Set amidst a lush coconut forest, the Visun Great land Art Villa designed by Shenzhen-based architec... More

Ksoul Studio layers emotions, colours and playful elements in the Chee-se restaurant in Tay Ninh
5 Oct 2022 News
Ksoul Studio layers emotions, colours and playful elements in the Chee-se restaurant in Tay Ninh

Popular amongst youth and families in Tay Ninh, Vietnam, Chee-se opens its second store and restaura... More

The new Chez Pierre Restaurant revives retro glitz and glamour in Monte Carlo
5 Oct 2022 News
The new Chez Pierre Restaurant revives retro glitz and glamour in Monte Carlo

Pierre Baldelli opens his first restaurant in Monte Carlo, bringing back the old charm and style. Se... More

The Julius Prague by Matteo Thun celebrates the vibrancy of the city’s Bohemian past
5 Oct 2022 News
The Julius Prague by Matteo Thun celebrates the vibrancy of the city’s Bohemian past

Balancing residential comfort with the feeling of a high-end hotel, The Julius Prague by Matteo Thun... More

Minus workshop instils awe through its milk-lake-inspired Dabpa Artisan Restaurant
4 Oct 2022 News
Minus workshop instils awe through its milk-lake-inspired Dabpa Artisan Restaurant

Following the artistic and evocative interior design of Peking & Szechuan Cuisine restaurant, Da... More

GWWO Architects celebrates sustainability by building over an existing building in Angelica Park
4 Oct 2022 News
GWWO Architects celebrates sustainability by building over an existing building in Angelica Park

Built on top of an existing structure in Angelica Park in Reading, PA, Berks nature, designed by GWW... More

The Colonnade by Annkur Khosla Design Studio offers a showcase of modern interior concepts in India
4 Oct 2022 News
The Colonnade by Annkur Khosla Design Studio offers a showcase of modern interior concepts in India

An example of India Modern Design, ‘The Colonnade’ by Annkur Khosla Studio is a home for... More

Jessica Gersten Interiors develop a material-savvy palette for a Tribeca pied-à-terre renovation
3 Oct 2022 News
Jessica Gersten Interiors develop a material-savvy palette for a Tribeca pied-à-terre renovation

In Tribeca, New York, a pied-à-terre for a family was transformed by Jessica Gersten Interior... More