Gafarim House, Ponte de Lima, Portugal; Tiago do Vale Arquitectos

Gafarim House, Ponte de Lima, Portugal; Tiago do Vale Arquitectos

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The space of great transparence, relating through a generous glass wall with the plot and the wide Minho views
Gafarim House, Ponte de Lima, Portugal; Tiago do Vale Arquitectos
photographs: João Morgado

Gafarim House – A Northern Monolith, Ponte de Lima, Portugal designed by Tiago do Vale Arquitectos is a project of tense duality between vernacular principles and a neoplastic understating of shape, place and landscape.

In a naturally fragmented and disconnected context, the Gafarim Houseoffers monolithic, opaque volumes to the street, citing the compact, parallelepipedic masses of northern Portuguese popular architecture and adjusting its scale to the surroundings. It appears with autonomy in its context -an independent object among independent objects- and, in its economy of shape and detailing, it distances itself from the post-rural decorativism that is the norm in today’s Portuguese countryside.

The exterior formal economy is contrasted with a generous, high-ceilinged, expansive interior space that incorporates the remote landscape. The entrance is a long transitional moment and a space in itself. Evolving from the exterior, covered arrival space to its interior extension, from shadow to light and from opaque to transparent, this progressive contrast is an important representation of the duplicities and contradictions that define the theme of the project. After the compressed, conditioned entering movement the space expands to a double-height volume that houses the social program of the house, reuniting under a same roof kitchen, dining and living room, citing the domestic organization of this region’s vernacular homes.

This is a space of great transparence, relating through a generous glass wall with the plot and the wide Minho views. In spite of its transparency, opening to the northeast allows for a controlled relationship with natural light. Bathing in the morning light reflected by the water mirror and backlit by the infiltrating afternoon sun descending from the mezzanine, the changing natural light animates the architecture throughout the day and throughout the year.

Without any explicit separation, the private section of the house develops autonomously, with all bedrooms faced towards the southeast. A small interior patio serves both the master bedroom and the bathrooms. This patio is a device that allows the creation of a space that, though formally inside of the house, is symbolically apart.

  • Gafarim House, Ponte de Lima, Portugal; Tiago do Vale Arquitectos <br> photographs: João Morgado
    Gafarim House, Ponte de Lima, Portugal; Tiago do Vale Arquitectos
    photographs: João Morgado
  • Gafarim House, Ponte de Lima, Portugal; Tiago do Vale Arquitectos <br> photographs: João Morgado
    Gafarim House, Ponte de Lima, Portugal; Tiago do Vale Arquitectos
    photographs: João Morgado
  • Gafarim House, Ponte de Lima, Portugal; Tiago do Vale Arquitectos <br> photographs: João Morgado
    Gafarim House, Ponte de Lima, Portugal; Tiago do Vale Arquitectos
    photographs: João Morgado
  • The space of great transparence, relating through a generous glass wall with the plot and the wide Minho views <br> Gafarim House, Ponte de Lima, Portugal; Tiago do Vale Arquitectos <br> photographs: João Morgado
    The space of great transparence, relating through a generous glass wall with the plot and the wide Minho views
    Gafarim House, Ponte de Lima, Portugal; Tiago do Vale Arquitectos
    photographs: João Morgado
  • Gafarim House, Ponte de Lima, Portugal; Tiago do Vale Arquitectos <br> photographs: João Morgado
    Gafarim House, Ponte de Lima, Portugal; Tiago do Vale Arquitectos
    photographs: João Morgado
  • Gafarim House, Ponte de Lima, Portugal; Tiago do Vale Arquitectos <br> photographs: João Morgado
    Gafarim House, Ponte de Lima, Portugal; Tiago do Vale Arquitectos
    photographs: João Morgado
  • Gafarim House, Ponte de Lima, Portugal; Tiago do Vale Arquitectos <br> photographs: João Morgado
    Gafarim House, Ponte de Lima, Portugal; Tiago do Vale Arquitectos
    photographs: João Morgado
  • Gafarim House, Ponte de Lima, Portugal; Tiago do Vale Arquitectos <br> photographs: João Morgado
    Gafarim House, Ponte de Lima, Portugal; Tiago do Vale Arquitectos
    photographs: João Morgado
  • Site plan, Gafarim House, Ponte de Lima, Portugal; Tiago do Vale Arquitectos <br> photographs: João Morgado
    Site plan, Gafarim House, Ponte de Lima, Portugal; Tiago do Vale Arquitectos
    photographs: João Morgado
  • Ground floor plan, Gafarim House, Ponte de Lima, Portugal; Tiago do Vale Arquitectos <br> photographs: João Morgado
    Ground floor plan, Gafarim House, Ponte de Lima, Portugal; Tiago do Vale Arquitectos
    photographs: João Morgado
  • Sections, Gafarim House, Ponte de Lima, Portugal; Tiago do Vale Arquitectos <br> photographs: João Morgado
    Sections, Gafarim House, Ponte de Lima, Portugal; Tiago do Vale Arquitectos
    photographs: João Morgado
  • Mezzanine, Gafarim House, Ponte de Lima, Portugal; Tiago do Vale Arquitectos <br> photographs: João Morgado
    Mezzanine, Gafarim House, Ponte de Lima, Portugal; Tiago do Vale Arquitectos
    photographs: João Morgado
  • Elevation, Gafarim House, Ponte de Lima, Portugal; Tiago do Vale Arquitectos <br> photographs: João Morgado
    Elevation, Gafarim House, Ponte de Lima, Portugal; Tiago do Vale Arquitectos
    photographs: João Morgado
  • Elevation, Gafarim House, Ponte de Lima, Portugal; Tiago do Vale Arquitectos <br> photographs: João Morgado
    Elevation, Gafarim House, Ponte de Lima, Portugal; Tiago do Vale Arquitectos
    photographs: João Morgado

Between vernacular and contemporary references, between blind volumes and open planes, the Gafarim House is a project about contradiction, opposition and provocation condensed in a simple, pragmatic structure.

fact sheet

  • project : Gafarim House
  • location : Ponte de Lima, Portugal
  • architecture : Tiago do Vale Arquitectos
  • architecture team : Tiago do Vale, María Cainzos Osinde, with Maria João Araújo, Camile Martin, Eva Amor, Hugo Quintela, Joanna Jakimiuk, Esra Arslam
  • engineering : Daengstudio L.da
  • construction : Casas do Lima, Limiavez L.da
  • year of construction : 2016-2018
  • footprints : 2,713-sq.ft (252-sq.m)
  • construction area: 2,949-sq.ft (274-sq.m)
  • photographs : João Morgado

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