carlos castanheira's H-shaped fontinha house nestles in a private garden in portugal

carlos castanheira's H-shaped fontinha house nestles in a private garden in portugal

explore fontinha house by carlos castanheira architects

 

Architect Carlos Castanheira brings to life Fontinha House, an H-shaped timber dwelling nestled within a small demesne’s private garden in Porto, Portugal. Surrounded by high walls, the existing property (i.e., the parent’s house) overlooks the entire city, framing views all the way to Foz and the Atlantic coastline. Complementing the newly built home is a fully developed agricultural space with animals, vegetables, fruits, and even a tiny registered production of Vinho Verde — endowing the plot of land with an unusual rural character that gently complements the Fontinha neighborhood. ‘I got to know a little more about Porto. Something unique. So unique that someone had even thought about giving protected status to the cabbages, the peach tree, and the turnips,’ the architect writes. 

 

Photographer Fernando Guerra extensively documented the vibrant and welcoming spaces of Carlos Castanheira’s Fontinha House in Porto, which you can explore in pictures below. 

carlos castanheira's H-shaped fontinha house nestles in a private garden in portugal
all images Fernando Guerra | FG+SG

 

 

h-shaped timber structure built above ground 

 

During his visit to the demesne site, the owners warned Carlos Castanheira (see more here) about the granite layer embedded one meter below the topsoil. Responding to those existing conditions, the architect built Fontinha House above the ground, at the end of the private garden, so as not to disturb the substrate. More specifically, the structure stands on a concrete plinth as a timber structure laid out as two U’s, forming the letter H. To the South, the front U accommodates the social areas of the residence (kitchen, dining room, living room), while the U to the rear, positioned North, accommodates three private bedrooms. At the center are the entrance hall and a small mezzanine-level study space. Completing the program is a small basement where a cellar and service areas can be found.

carlos castanheira's H-shaped fontinha house nestles in a private garden in portugal
Fontinha House by Carlos Castanheira

 

 

creating a play of volumes and materials 

 

Structurally, each space is characterized by a wooden ceiling, generating a play of volumes and roofs, which, although similar, are distinct in form and dimension. At the front, two canopied areas offer residents of the Fontinha House an indoor-outdoor experience. ‘Inside, the timber structure is also a surface finish and a lining. Outside, everything is clad in copper, while leaving visible some of the timber structure, the window frames, and the glass separating and connecting the inside and the outside. The cabbages, peach trees, and turnips are still there, but now there also is a garden house because everything changes, with the need to live. To live better and in harmony,’ concludes Carlos Castanheira

carlos castanheira's H-shaped fontinha house nestles in a private garden in portugal
the timber structure takes on an H shape

carlos castanheira's H-shaped fontinha house nestles in a private garden in portugal
entrance shot

carlos castanheira's H-shaped fontinha house nestles in a private garden in portugal
indoor-outdoor atmosphere

carlos castanheira's H-shaped fontinha house nestles in a private garden in portugal
Fontinha House is part of an established property with a private garden

fontinha-house-designboom-22

carlos castanheira's H-shaped fontinha house nestles in a private garden in portugal
entrance hall

carlos castanheira's H-shaped fontinha house nestles in a private garden in portugal
the front U accommodates the social areas of the residence

fontinha-house-designboom-full-1

carlos castanheira's H-shaped fontinha house nestles in a private garden in portugal
living room area next to the pool

carlos castanheira's H-shaped fontinha house nestles in a private garden in portugal
dining room area

fontinha-house-designboom-full

carlos castanheira's H-shaped fontinha house nestles in a private garden in portugal
night time shot showing the property walls

carlos castanheira's H-shaped fontinha house nestles in a private garden in portugal
creating a sense of symmetry with the H-shaped layout

fontinha-house-designboom-full-3

 

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parking area
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private bedroom
private bedroom
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down to the basement
down to the basement
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an all-timber design
an all-timber design
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study space
study space
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pool area
pool area
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project info:

 

name: Fontinha House

location: Porto, Portugal

architecture studio: CC&CB, Architects, Lda.

lead architect: Carlos Castanheira

project coordinator: Diana Vasconcelos
project team: Erika Musci, Fernanda Sá, Inês Brito
3D models & renderings: Germano Vieira, Sara Noronha
structural engineers: Paulo Fidalgo / HDP – Construction & Engineering Projects, Lda
hydraulic: Pedro Nunes / Diâmetro & Cálculo – Construction & Engineering Projects, Lda

HVAC: Pedro Coelho Lima / Coelho Lima – Engineering, Lda.
carpentry:  Valentim – Henriques & Rodrigues, Lda.
general construction: Victor Gonçalves / Guilhade, Engineering & construction, Lda.

photography: Fernando Guerra | FG+SG@fernandogguerra
construction area: 286 sqm

project period: February 2016– November 2019

construction period: September 2019 – December 2022

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