the cottage house by atelier 1111 is nested into the landscape of a sweeping property in grândola, an area in the south of portugal. the peaceful region is characterized by cork and olive trees, protected stone pines, and a gently sloping topography offering a view of the atlantic ocean from its highest points. the new construction will be one of four on the site alongside a main house, garage, and swimming pool, each to be spread across the land to guarantee and maximize their integration with the natural surroundings. the smallest of the four elements of the project, the cottage house is the first to be completed, comprising an entrance porch, a living and kitchen space, two bedrooms, a bathroom, and a terrace.

atelier 1111 cottage house
all images by nuno pinto



atelier 1111 embeds the cottage house into the landscape, a strategy which offers two results: from the direction of approach the volume of the house can be read clearly, while from the opposite direction the structure appears only as a low wall surrounding the existing trees as well as a gestural sculpture by rui chafes. these trees provided the design team a rigorous set of parameters which informed the organization of the plan. the project was developed with the goal of simplicity, to express the essence of the materials and geometries. the roughness and weight of the thickened concrete walls are compensated with such detail elements as brass and bronze framing.

atelier 1111 cottage house



the team treated the construction of this small house as an experimental case to test the components for the upcoming phases of the project. thermal comfort was among the biggest concerns due to the high temperatures of the region. such passive cooling strategies as green roofing and thickened stone walls were implemented in place of mechanical systems. the choice of rammed concrete, common in southern portugal, was derived from an interest in vernacular techniques of earthen architecture, and for its subtle textural dialogue with the cork trees. the rough materiality further expresses and element of imperfection, balancing the clean geometries and their conception.

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project info:


project title: promise.cottage house

architecture: atelier 1111

location: grandola, portugal

lead architects: camilo rebelo, cristina chicau and patricio guedes

client: olivier jacout

collaborators: carlota amorim, catarina machado, mariana barreira, sara ruas, rui roncha

sculptor: rui chafes

completion: november 2018

photography: nuno pinto