The “Tolo House” build by Alvaro Leite Siza is based in Lugar das Carvalhinhas - Alvite, Cerva Parish, Ribeira da Pena Commune, Vila Real District with an area of around 1000m2. The house is build on a sharply inclined hill. Its fragmentation, necessary due to the steep topography, transforms the whole into a composition of small linked and interconnected volumes, creating an unevenness that allows for a more secure and rational use of the lot. In this way the house’s various functions are clarified with each elevation corresponding to a single compartment.
The project consists of a holiday home with three bedrooms, a social bathroom, a living room, a dinning room, a small kitchen with a support washbasin, pantry, and even a small outdoor swimming pool. The terrain is sharply inclined and has a particular configuration: it is very long and narrow. However, the fact that it faces south allows it to receive optimal solar exposure and to enjoy a particular natural view. The living area does not exceed 180m2.
About Álvaro Leite Siza Vieira
Álvaro Leite Siza Vieira was born in Porto, Portugal in 1962. He worked as a curricular trainee at the architecture studio of Eduardo Souto de Moura in 1992, and graduated from the Faculty of Architecture in Escola do Porto in 1994. Before that, he collaborated with his father, architect, Alvaro Siza Vieira on a first project in Lisbon in 1987, a competition for the Museum of Contemporary Art in Helsinki in 1992 and the Olympic complex of the University of Palermo in 1995. He has participated in competitions, exhibited his own works at international design exhibitions, and designed many houses around Portugal.
For reasons of functionality and integration, it was opted to organize the main entrance based on the street where car transit was possible. This road leads to the northern higher part of the lot. Nevertheless, it is possible to access the house from a more rustic footpath from the south. Its fragmentation, necessary due to the steep topography, transforms the whole into a composition of small linked and interconnected volumes, creating an unevenness that allows for a more secure and rational use of the lot.
In this way the house’s various functions are clarified with each elevation corresponding to a single compartment. The roof functions simultaneously as pavement support for the gardens: similar to the traditional threshing floors and patios in the northern regions of the country with hilly terrain.
Project Detail :
Architects: Alvaro Leite Siza
Client: Luís Marinho Leite Barbosa da Silva
Location: Lugar das Carvalhinhas - Alvite, freguesia de Cerva, Ribeira da Pena District
Site Area: 1000 sqm
Constructed Area: 180 sqm
Contractor: Óscar Gouveia
Landscape: Alvaro Leite Siza Vieira
Project Start: 2000
Project Complete: 2005
Photographers: Alvaro Leite Siza / F&S Guerra