valerio olgiati hides villa alem within folded concrete walls
valerio olgiati hides villa alem within folded concrete walls valerio olgiati hides villa alem within folded concrete walls
apr 19, 2015

valerio olgiati hides villa alem within folded concrete walls

valerio olgiati hides villa alem within folded concrete walls
image © archive olgiati




10 kilometers off the atlantic coast in the alentejo region of portugal, the villa alem by swiss architect valerio olgiati sits amongst a vast forest of cork trees common to the area. the home is rather simple, if not very unique- it is characterized primarily by the reinforced concrete walls that define an inner courtyard, open yet entirely private. these outer partitions, once reaching a certain height, fold either into the space or away from it almost like the lids of a box in order to create shade or open views to the sky. the one-story house is nestled invisibly within these walls and faces the courtyard to receive plenty of daylight. the living room faces the courtyard, opening up onto an exterior patio and central pool. adjacent to it, separated by a structural wall, a dining room projects out towards the exterior through a full glass wall. on the other side, the kitchen sits within a semi-circular room outlined in a concentric circle by a small hallway that loops around to the bedrooms along the backside. each bedroom, arranged in a lineal fashion, contains its own private courtyard.

entry area into the courtyard
image © archive olgiati

exterior view of the outer walls and folding roofs
image © archive olgiati

image © archive olgiati

inner courtyard
image © archive olgiati

image © archive olgiati

image © archive olgiati

image © archive olgiati

dining room faces the entry facade of the house
image © archive olgiati

living room opens directly to the private courtyard
image © archive olgiati

a conitnuous hallways feeds into the three bedrooms
image © archive olgiati

image © archive olgiati

central pool in the courtyard
image © archive olgiati


section and floor plan




project info:



object: house
location: alentejo, portugal
architect: valerio olgiati, architect, senda stretga 1, 7017 flims
collaborators: patricia da silva (project manager office olgiati), daisuke kokufuda, liviu vasiu
general contractor: matriz sociedade de construções lda., rua do monte 151, 4470-794 vila nova de telha, maia
materials: in-situ concrete, steel, marble
begin planning: 2009
begin construction: january 2013
end construction: april 2014
copyrights plans: archive olgiati
copyrights photos: archive olgiati

  • Its good to see some doomsday preppers hard at work in Portugal.

    Adam Brocklehurst says:
  • okay… hope this neo-postmodernism fad to fade away soon

    SOR PERDIDA says:

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