in portugal, architects marta rocha and fabien vacelet have completed a two-storey dwelling in vila nova de gaia, a city located south of porto on the opposite side of the douro river. the ‘RV house’ is squeezed onto a long and narrow plot, which measures 30 meters in length and six meters in width. the form of the building, and its undulating roofline, responds to the path of the sun — ensuring that the property benefits from as much natural light as possible.

marta rocha fabien vacelet
all images by tiago casanova

 

 

the shape and configuration of the structure is also a result of the surrounding urban environment, with openings carefully positioned to ensure both privacy and illumination. the structure has been clad with thermally modified wood, which was left untreated in order to convey a strong visual impact. using natural methods, heat, and steam, the material has been enhanced so that it can be used in any climate and is resistant to decay. the non-toxic product is easy to machine and install.

marta rocha fabien vacelet
the ‘RV house’ is squeezed onto a long and narrow plot

 

 

at ground level, an outdoor patio divides the property’s program is half — partitioning living accommodation from a separate workshop. the secluded patio offers sweeping views across the city and towards the atlantic ocean. a passage leads to the upper level, which contains a library and an office beneath the exposed concrete ceilings. throughout the scheme, a contrasting wooden core accommodates secondary spaces, vertical circulation, and all the home’s technical infrastructure.

marta rocha fabien vacelet
a library is found beneath the exposed concrete ceilings

marta rocha fabien vacelet
an office is also found on the building’s upper level

marta rocha fabien vacelet
a large window illuminates the home’s sleeping quarters

marta rocha fabien vacelet
a wooden core accommodates secondary spaces and vertical circulation

marta rocha fabien vacelet
the kitchen and dining area is found on the lower level

marta rocha fabien vacelet
an external patio divides the lower level

marta rocha fabien vacelet
the structure has been clad with thermally modified wood

marta rocha fabien vacelet
the two-storey dwelling is located in vila nova de gaia, a city located just south of porto

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