rui grazina: house in cambeses rui grazina: house in cambeses
jun 06, 2012

rui grazina: house in cambeses

‘house in cambeses’ by rui grazina, barcelos, portugal image © nelson garrido

porto-based practice rue grazina have sent us images of their completed project ‘house in cambeses’ located in barcelos, portugal. concrete retaining walls carve passages into the physical landscape, leading into a two-storey residence that is embedded within the earth. situated on a 3300-square meter protected green site, the dwelling sits on a total area of 300-square meters and has a gross building area of 290-square meters. the footprint of the structure is based on the existing sloping terrain and the new proposed access roads for both pedestrian and vehicular traffic.

due to the steep topography, the house has been split into two stories. one on the eastern side which consists of living spaces, and one on the west where the majority of the structure is inset within the ground. to achieve this design feature, load bearing concrete frames carve into the landscape. the detail allowed for the development of an underground parking lot which slides into residence.

panorama view image © nelson garrido

the entryway is framed with two retaining walls to create a transition between the exterior environment and the first floor. a light steel frame system sits on top of the structure with an external insulation finishing technique.  the interior is built with the use of a dry-lining network and is divided into a social zone on the ground level and private quarters on the upper level where solid wood is used for flooring and the custom furniture.

image © nelson garrido

path to entrance image © nelson garrido

stairway and parking image © nelson garrido

concrete details image © nelson garrido

side view image © nelson garrido

narrow passageways image © nelson garrido

interior image © nelson garrido

image © nelson garrido

image © nelson garrido

image © nelson garrido

floor plan / level 0 image © rui grazina

floor plan / level 1 image © rui grazina axonometric image © rui grazina

axonometric image © rui grazina

project info:

project by: rui grazina year: 2008/2011 place: cambeses, barcelos, portugal area: 300 sqm total area; 290 sqm gross building area; 3300 sqm total plot area photo credits: nelson garrido construction: engiaço construções técnicas, braga

  • the spatial layering is fantastic! A very modern, poetic house, very livable!

    blau says:
  • Very well done, mr. It pleases me.

    ivan says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

architecture news