House in Portugal Uses Steep Slope to Its Advantage

Architects Carvalho Araújo completed Gerês House, a modern home in Gerês, Portugal. The design team initially took on the challenge of updating a residence on the upper part of the sloped site. However, to avoid the risk of a landslide, they decided to demolish the dwelling and build a new one on safer grounds.

“The new construction relates with the land in a very spontaneous way, taking advantage of its steep slope and of the small stream,” the architects said. “Access to the house is made from the upper level, ensuring a full view over the building, which fits into the ground like a rock.”

The house, nestled in Portugal’s only national park, has a substantial concrete base topped by a wooden volume. The large deck, with a sheltered hot tub, and the swimming holes next to and below the house offer opportunities for outdoor leisure.

“The new construction displays large, functional and multipurpose spaces, where pleasure and work are mixed,” the architects said. The large, open-plan social spaces feel like an art gallery surrounded by striking views.

What are your thoughts on the design of this residence in relationship to its environment? [Photos and information courtesy of Carvalho Araújo]