Splayed Concrete Walls Give Valerio Olgiati’s Villa Além The Appearance Of An Open Box

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Swiss architect Valerio Olgiati added concrete fins to the walls of this house in rural Portugal, which splay outwards and inwards like the flaps of an open box to supply shade for a garden within .

Villa Alem by Valerio Olgiati

The five.5-metre-large walls were constructed from a red cast-in-situ concrete designed to harmonise with the colour of the rusty earth and to conceal the single-storey dwelling inside of, making it invisible from outside the compound.

Villa Alem by Valerio Olgiati

“The character of the complex is chiefly defined by the surrounding walls, which produce the impression of petals that near and open in direction of the sky,” explained Olgiati.

Villa Alem by Valerio Olgiati

“The major intention right here is to produce a secluded backyard,” he extra. “The surrounding walls are up to five and a half metres higher to offer the necessary shade and the complete impression created is a single of a desert, dry, stony and dusty.”

Villa Alem by Valerio Olgiati

Named Villa Além, the home and its walled garden are found in the middle of a cork forest in Alentejo.

The rural area in central Portugal is situated around five miles inland from the Atlantic Ocean and is renowned for its vineyards, as nicely as the cork forests utilised to supply bottle stops for their create.

Villa Alem by Valerio Olgiati

The gardens can be observed through broad openings in the outer walls and are protected from the area’s free of charge-roaming livestock by big metal doors.

Villa Alem by Valerio Olgiati

Two prolonged beds positioned along both side of the courtyard are planted with succulents and modest shrubs, although a cast-concrete trench with a marble base in the centre forms a swimming pool.


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An opening is positioned at one particular end of the pool, offering views into the surrounding woodland.

Villa Alem by Valerio Olgiati

At the opposite finish of the courtyard, an outside dining region is arranged beneath a concrete awning that tasks upwards and outwards from the facade of the residence.

Villa Alem by Valerio Olgiati

Inside, tall raw concrete walls give the rooms and hallways a cave-like physical appearance that contrasts the sun-exposed courtyard. Tiny cork accents in the form of furnishings refer back to the landscape.

Villa Alem by Valerio Olgiati

A extended arch-shaped corridor runs along the living spaces at the front of the residence before hooking about to 3 bedrooms and bathrooms organized in a row behind.

“A curved hallway permits the inhabitants to retreat into shadows and into the introverted personal rooms,” explained the architect.

Villa Alem by Valerio Olgiati

Every of the 3 bedrooms has accessibility to its personal private patio set along the periphery wall, and all three are covered with flat concrete roofs that feature elongated oval openings.

Villa Alem by Valerio Olgiati

The dining room occupies a gabled construction at 1 finish of the north-south living strip, even though a living room is found in the centre.

From this area, residents can look out above the courtyard pool and on by means of a gateway in the southern wall of the garden to the woodland beyond.

Villa Alem by Valerio Olgiati

Photography courtesy of Valerio Olgiati.


Project credits:

Architect: Valerio Olgiati
Common contractor: Matriz Sociedade de Construções Lda.
Collaborators: Patricia Da Silva, Daisuke Kokufuda, Liviu Vasiu

Villa Alem by Valerio OlgiatiFloor strategy Villa Alem by Valerio OlgiatiElevation  Dezeen

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