Portugal’s Vision for Contemporary Architecture – Lousinha Arquitectos

Portugal’s Vision for Contemporary Architecture – Lousinha Arquitectos

Lousinha Arquitectos is a natural consequence of my career as a liberal professional. If I think of what interests me as an architect I think that it’s how to tell a story well. I think that architecture’s main challenge still is to make clear what our role in the process is. People don´t know what service the architect provides. What the function of an architect is. There is a didactic component of explanation of the profession that remains a challenge for us here. 3D is a natural communication process as was the physical model or the rigorous sketches in conical perspective. From the moment the concept is established it is an excellent tool to communicate the project, and also very fast, because it allows us to quickly simulate a reality, to make an insertion in a real context, on top of a photograph… Therefore, it allows us to, more effectively, communicate the project. This is a project for a residential building for two brothers. It had the challenge of the context in which it is inserted, which is a context of an attempt to standardize architecture. “Costa Nova” has a brand image that is the striped houses. There is the idea that everything you do nowadays has to have stripes and that is has to be traditional and that it must have a sloped roof and a series of constraints. Therefore, this project appears in a difficult context because, to do a house for two families in a plot of 300 square meters without being a vulgar thing is a hard thing to do. The first approach to the project was a very conventional one: we leaned the house to one of the extremities of the plot in to have more free space, we raised the ground-floor with columns again to have more outdoor space which forced the house to gain volume and height, in terms of expression, which did not seem to us to be a licensing problem even because there was an example here in this area. All this was put aside, and it was refused by the municipality. The technical advice rejecting the proposal stated we cannot forget that we are in an environment of traditional architecture in which we have to dialogue with the surroundings. How does a person create traditional architecture in the middle of the XXI century? I think architecture represents its time. I don’t want to design a house today that looks like a house from 50 years ago. That gave me the idea, – one of the things that paper and sketches sometimes give us – to design a house like all the other houses in Costa Nova: a house with a sloped roof and the stripes. Since this house is in a corner when I had to design the sloped roof, I asked myself: “now what?”. So, this is not more than a thing that formally looks very complex and that everybody says it is an imitation of Koolhaas in Porto (Casa da Música), but the truth is that this is not more than a house with a square plan and a two-slope roof in which the ridge rotated 45 degrees to be aligned with the corner. Then, there is the small “bow” in the edge to mark the corner. Suddenly the houses gains the shape that allows the dialogue with the surroundings because the house picks the lower west elevation raises itself to dialogue with the tallest building and then, in the other street, descends once again to pick up the lowest elevation. For me, it is unthinkable to conceive architecture with a pre-configured manual of details from a former project that I use in another one and then replicate to a third one. Each project has its particularities that manifest themselves in a very clear way in how we do the detailed project. The idea that architecture can be seen through photographs and not on its location, not experienced, not felt, is an atrocious thing. I fear that architecture becomes a plastic thing. Architecture is not an image, it should be lived It is lived space, felt space, physical space.


  • Jorge Alves Silvano

    October 11, 2017

    Fechar com chave de ouro: " A arquitectura é espaço vivido, espaço sentido!" .

  • Social inJustice Warrior

    January 21, 2018

    We can't understand what you're saying…

  • nomi34

    June 6, 2019

    Like the meticulous way in which concept is put on paper. The transition from mind to matter.


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