Susana Saraiva

Susana Saraiva

Porto, PT


Just a House

Just a House - Single house, Lavra, Portugal, 2011

USE: residential
PROGRAM: 3 bedrooms with bathroom and closet; guest bathroom, kitchen, living room, dining room, laundry, garage, pool
AREA: 212,00 sqm
CREATIVE TEAM: Susana Saraiva - architecture, Nadezda Frolova - graphic design

INTRO“House” what does it means? What turns a building into a house? The answer seems immediate and obvious: a house is...a house!
The house is a response to such a primitive and basic need that a definition becomes almost unnecessary. Any human knows it’s meaning as well as its graphic representation. It is as natural as breathing.
The house protects us from the Sun and rain, wind, warm and cold; it protects us from the dangerous outside world and also from our own species (the most dangerous of all). House is shelter.
But the house can also protect us from ourselves – our fears, obsessions;and exalt our dreams and wishes. House is refuge.
It can make our life a little bit easier and a lot harder. It can help us relax after a hard day work or even forget problems in a nice weekend or incite our range against the world and lead to violence. House buildspersonality.
To not have a house is like being an orphan. We feel stripped from apart of us, completely exposed. That’s why human sacrifice so much to have one and, independently of its constitution, we tend to spend most f our savings init. From the illegal settlement built with all sacrifice to the most luxurious place it as the same meaning- the house is the extension of ourselves.
However it can take up as many forms as cells present in the human body,why? Because independently of our social status, religion or culture our house reflects our achievements in life, failure our success. House is socialbarometer.
We might ask them, why design a house without client if it is supposed to reflect him? Because it is the responsibility of architects to understand and interpret the positives and negatives of the place and reflect about the best way to find balance, harmony and sustainability of the place and its surroundings so that after, that the eventual owner of the place can feel free to dream, live and be happy.

The place used for this study presents as much potential for success as for failure. A former fisherman’s village has in recent years been invaded bycity dwellers looking for a nice house near the beach but still close enough to the city so that they can commute everyday.
The week urban control exert by local authorities as allowed all kinds of land occupation without respect for heights, surface, alignments, density.While the humble older houses present a significant coherence, the new developments threaten to destroy the “seaside village” characteristic of theplace.
A single house is certainly not going to change this reality, but it might try at least, read the place, enhance its main features and compensate somehow the most negative ones hopping that maybe, the next ones to come, will feel inspire to continue this task.
This area is characterize by a mix of older ground floor houses with high pitched roofs and a series of recent constructions apparently not following any type of urban rules except the not constructing more than 3floors above ground.
This conceptual approach tries to understand the place and take the most advantage of it based on 4 basic principles:
Sustainability Privacy Alignment Light

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Status: Unbuilt
Location: Porto, PT