Covered with vegetation
Besides this analysis of the urban setting, other aspects should also be highlighted. As the house is intended for the top end of the market, it needed an innovative and eye-catching look. The constantly-changing façade - influenced by the changing seasons - was a detail that was greatly valued by the investor, the Lisbon-based firm BWA-Buildings With Art. This sensory aspect, along with the practical environmental advantages of having an entire façade covered with vegetation, was crucial in devising the final solution. From a climatic point of view, a number of positive aspects can be pointed out: this green façade absorbs CO2 (thus helping to reduce CO2 levels), improves air quality, and works as a natural layer of insulation for both temperature and noise.
The sustainable character of the project was the aspect most valued by the general media. There can be no doubt that one of the main objectives of the proposal was to challenge the trend of huge-scale construction in our cities with a clear lack of vegetation and green spaces. Nevertheless, there is more to this four-storey house than its sustainable and green character.
The main volume of the house was detached from the neighbouring lateral façade in order to create the entrance and the full-height glazed courtyard that serves the dwelling. This glazed narrow courtyard acts as a skylight and creates a vertical link through the house, acting as its central core. A staircase is situated immediately inside the entrance, leading up to the rooftop and connecting all the floors.