BARCELOS – A house near Barcelos, Portugal, seems to have been implanted in its green surroundings – a sound influence on the design of the two-storey home.

‘The goal was to produce spaces open to the landscape and the views, but also secluded and isolated ones,’ says architect Rui Grazina. ‘The transitions between inside and outside were very important, as they generated interesting spatial events.’

The site’s precipitous topography was a challenge, though it also defined the building’s design from the very beginning.

‘The house is partially inserted into the ground,’ Grazina says. ‘This enabled all the design decisions that followed, plus the project’s development.’ Consequently, on its western side the house only shows one floor; to the east, the two floors are clearly visible.

Social areas lay on the ground floor, while the private rooms stand on the first floor. Outside, a staircase outlined with light steel provides a corridor-like access to the ground floor, in a subtle transition from exterior to interior.

Photos courtesy of Nelson Garrido