extrastudio has completed a pair of holiday homes in sesimbra, a small portuguese fishing village 30 kilometers (19 miles) south of lisbon. the so-called ‘twin houses’ have been designed for two sisters who wanted a secluded setting where their families and friends could gather during the summer. ‘our first decision was to build a new house in two separate volumes, providing autonomy for each family,’ explain the architects. ‘like twins, they share properties but each also expresses itself in a slightly different way; one higher and open, exposed to the landscape, the other more horizontal, seeking an intimate relationship with the surrounding land.’

extrastudio twin houses
all images by fernando guerra | FG+SG

 

 

referencing jørn utzon’s can lis and cini boeri’s casa rotunda, extrastudio sought to design a dwelling that would ‘summon its own universe’. ‘as legal restrictions set 250 square meters as the maximum floor area, we inserted courtyards and created a large canopy around each house, extending the interior to the exterior and generating additional outdoor areas, with planting overhead to provide shade,’ explains the design team. a 6-meter-deep, suspended structure floats around the property, creating a large outdoor living room that overlooks the sea.

extrastudio twin houses

 

 

both houses appear to emerge from the landscape with colored concrete used to match the tone of the earth. the unique texture, which is described as being both rough and smooth, was achieved by pouring the concrete at dusk. a chemical process was used to delay the surface mortar from setting, before it was washed off at early dawn. the property’s internal elements have been reduced to a minimum — materials are left in their natural state with only the walls painted.

extrastudio twin houses

 

 

meanwhile, windows and shutters slide completely into the walls, transforming the whole house into an exterior space. when open, eating, sleeping, and bathing take place outdoors, sheltered from the sun with a passing breeze. elsewhere, concrete elements are placed at particular points on the site. a bench, a platform, and a circular pool define small spaces in nature, creating unique moments within the landscape.

extrastudio twin houses

extrastudio twin houses

extrastudio twin houses

extrastudio twin houses

extrastudio twin houses

extrastudio twin houses

extrastudio twin houses

extrastudio twin houses

 

 

project info:

 

location: sesimbra, portugal
program: private house
area: 250 sqm (2,690 sqf)
budget: €480,000
year: 2019
architecture: extrastudio — joão caldeira ferrão, joão costa ribeiro, madalena atouguia, daniela freire, maria joão oliveira, sónia oliveira, tiago pinhal, rui de jesus, rita rodrigues, sonia hernansanz
landscape architecture: oficina dos jardins — sonia caldeira, ines ferrao
structural engineering consultant: PRPC engenheiros
plumbing consultant: naproge
gas, building physics, acoustics, electrical, security consultant: OHMSOR
construction: paviana
furniture: loja nord + extrastudio
photography: fernando guerra | FG+SG