House RA by Ana Reis



Portuguese architect Ana Reis has completed a family house in Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal.


The 2-storey home is characterised by white, clean-cut volumes arranged around an internal courtyard.


Photography by NG Photo.


Here's some more information from Ana Reis:


House RA

The house is for a young couple with two kids. The building volume, shape and location are the result of different restrictions from the municipality in terms of height, distances from the street and surrounding buildings. The programme is articulated within the available limits and around an internal courtyard. This allows the house to turn its back to the busy street, and shield its inhabitants.


Communal areas: living room, dining room and kitchen as well as some storage areas and powder room are located on the ground floor and directly connected with the protected garden.


Private areas: bedrooms, study and toilets are located on the upper floor. This internal separation of communal and private space is continuous with the buildings relationship with the public domain. The metal structure allows the absence of columns and big windows.


Clients: José Reis and Sofia Armelim
Architecture: Ana C Reis
Structure: Gestedi
Date: 2008
Area: 360sqm
Location: Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal
Photography: NG Photo

Posted on Saturday February 7th 2009 at 2:01 am by Rachael Sykes. Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • modular

    Oh, by the way…. I also “like” that rock path on the garden. It makes everything look even more lame.

    Truth: portuguese architecture is still ruled by a 76-year-old man, which is kinda sad……… (Siza)

  • loke

    This is the worst copy of the Villa Savoye I saw in my life!

  • G

    Simple, no fuss, beautiful!

  • Tofy

    “less is more”.

  • David Klemmer

    Basically a nice concept. But in my opinion the two different interiour-woods do not match perfectly. But i like the white stones.

  • gaque

    the variety of wood types and lighting is beautiful. great project!

  • guerilla

    Poor choice of placing the wood paneling/veneer in the hallway in front of those large windows – they will surely fade within a few years (second to last picture).

  • R_

    this could be a project by any other fifty portuguese architects, they all do the same! Boring…

  • MarkJ

    The exterior owes much to Corbu and the interior to John Pawson. You could do a lot worse ;-)

  • Franco

    Reminds me a beach house.

  • isaie

    Give me one reason (it doesn’t have to be a good one) why this project had to be published on dezeen. Are you proud of this piece of ordinary architecture?

    This is really sad!

  • Q

    the 76 year old man is simply the best architect in the world! no bs concepts, simple, direct, honest architecture, a poet of space.

  • Karassowitsch (MaEK)

    It has a few of good moves. And you can not know what the clients are like and what they need/want; which is a standard caveat for all these picture shows….
    Overall it is somewhat disconnected from reality (Nature) and reminds me of what a prison for executives might look like. It has bloated parts like Nietsche’s man with a huge parts, and shrunken parts. Why no pics of the courtyard?

  • Q

    by the way, i don´t think this a great house, it’s not bad either! in portugal many try to imitate siza but no one can and few achieve the quality of his work.

  • gerbera

    Nice to look, but not to live in! But I like it!

  • Bruce

    quite lovely; left me wanting to see more…

  • Matt

    I can’t really say if it’s good or bad, there aren’t enough pictures to really illustrate either to me. And I’d rather actually see some plans than just read bedrooms, study and toilets are located on the upper floor”

  • Patrick

    The pictures do not give enough info to give a comment about the quality of the work…. Plans and sections would complete the first impression of a house like this.

    @ Matt: had the same thought as you before reading your comment.

  • Viana

    Dear Modular , seems that you don’t know anything about portuguese architecture, and don’t know about real architecture. Maybe you’re one of those who like Neo-baroque architecture, that lost the sense of truth architecture. Little bit strange for someone that calls “Modular”.
    Your’re right when you say “portuguese architecture is still ruled by a 76-year-old man”. But this old man called ÁLVARO SIZA is one of the most brave architect of all time. His architecture is honest, well built, is a man that works a lot.
    If you said that his work is sad, you probably should think the same of some works from Leonardo da Vinci or Michelangelo (so sad those marble sculptures….white and bored). Is your opinion. That’s fine, but instead criticize you should search more about portugal and portuguese architecture, and learn something!

    R_ the same to you.

    By the way this project isn’t like an Hadid’s spectacular image-architecture, but works. I don’t know if this work have the right deezen quality, but seems to be a truth example of rigorous and well built architecture, conditions that to me are very important to value.

  • archcritic

    its a building get over it…..

  • ordinary… but I really like the little tree in the first picture!

  • i often look at dezeen, and enjoy reading the comments but i rarely post myself.
    what i find extremely amusing is that most often ppl are complaining if it is a spectacluar building like hadid, and now a barrage of complaints that this quite reserved project is ‘bad’ or a poor copy of siza.
    i like it (and i love saying that without any form of bs justification), i personally appreciate this restrained architecture and although it might not break any new ground, it is imo very vaild addition to dezeen. thanks.

  • Italo P

    To Modulor and R

    You can learn something about de “old man”… in

  • R_

    Ó Viana, mas tenho que escrever em português para perceberes que sei o que é Portugal e a arquitectura portuguesa??!!!

  • Bozo

    What year is it?

  • Viana

    Ó R_, em português escrevo que ainda bem que sabes o que é Portugal e arquitectura portuguesa!
    Cá “they do all the same”!Lá fora é que é bom.É assim mesmo!

  • tomorrow

    I strongly agree with R_ and Modular.

    Viana, I’m sorry but you have to admit that Portuguese architecture is stuck in time. And that isn’t very progressive or interesting. Not that everything HAS to be progressive or interesting, but when you defend this piece of shit white square building like you’re defending it, it doesn’t make sense because it should be on this blog then.
    Architecture in Portugal is = Siza. This building could have been done in the 40’s. You look at architecture in the 40’s and you look at it now, it’s the same, except the quality of the photo’s is better now . Portuguese architecture is stuck in time, everyone is trying to be siza. White planes. That’s it. And it’s silly, you have to admit. it’s nice, and I admire siza, but I don’t think everyone else has to be like siza and it is boring becuase it has been done many many many times already by people before siza even.
    This shit has been going on since the 1940’s and it’s time for portugal to change. The reason there is an upcoming in publicizing portuguese architecture more now, in my opinion, is that Portugal has been doing the same shit for so many years now that it’s actually novel relative to what is going on in the rest of the world, and so, it’s appreciated almost as something exotic.
    Portuguese architecture hasn’t even had any kind of response to green architecture at all! not that i’m into that, but it’s something that works and does something else other than being pretty.
    Portuguese architecture is an architecture for the cameras. Wait 3 or 4 years and then look at this building again, it will look like shit, relatively. cracks in the walls, moisture marks in the paint, all kinds of nice things, simply because it DOESN’T work. architects like this project a building regardless of its maintenance and the way it will look after the materials decay. It is an architecture for the moment. the moment right after it is built, while it still looks clean. after that it won’t look this good.
    Don’t compare this to zaha, because zaha doesn’t design houses and this is a house. It’s a different world, and it’s redundant to make that comparison.
    And also, Viana, you say it “works”, would you like to explain that? What works about this building? I don’t see anything working. I don’t think you even know enough about this building because there isn’t enough information. unless you participated in the design or so.
    I think architecture in portugual is a reflection of the country itself and it’s petty mentality: stuck in time. In my opinion, this has a lot to do with the political scene in Portugal: shameless corruption (Socrates) but that is another story…

    E eu poracaso tambem sou Portugues, mas decidi escrever em Ingles para os outros poderem acompanhar a discussao.

  • vv

    i don’t like the corridor, too narrow

  • modular

    Viana, és pouco triste pá. Mas não faz mal, estás como a arquitectura aqui apresentada nas imagens.

    Batida. Chata. Pseudo-cópia. Que não traz nada de novo. Tais como os teus comentários clichés…

    E quanto ao quererem instruir-me sobre o Arq. Siza, caros ‘amiguinhos’, tenho a felicidade de o conhecer pessoalmente e já ter colaborado algumas vezes com ele em alguns projectos.

    Pegando nas “ilustres” palavras do arq. Tomás Taveira: “Ide para o c…..”

  • hernindya


  • I quite like it, but there aren’t enough photos to really show the quality of the whole space.. but I do like the materials and minimal detail.. would be nice to see the spatial concept, rather than some photos of a one-point perspective hallway. Every house will have hallways.. let’s celebrate what makes this place special. seems like a furnitureless space for standing and walking.. let’s see the human aspect of this seemingly gorgeous simple house.

  • Viktor U


    Go for it girl .. well done :-)

  • éllõ, aí me tráing to raite in ingliche bãte i donte não if its ráite bicause áime âne 76 iãr-õlde méne u rules ine pórtuguise árquitecture. ine mái tàime, frenche uáze õkai bute ingliche uóze note okei. dize hause luques rilli gréate bicóse is uáite.

    ó modular, tu nunca trabalhaste comigo pá!

  • noser

    wowoww o amigo modular conhece o siza, pessoalmente e ate trabalhou com ele em alguns projectos, mesmo assim, acha que a arquitectura portuguesa é basica e enfadonha… caro amigo essa colaboração? tirar cafes?
    a arquitectura portuguesa nao é tédio, é classe, é identidade.

  • playcheckers

    wow this is really refined. simple and sensible. what are you all complaining about?!

  • onceIthoughtofareason

    nothing but corridors.

  • peridotprince

    I like what I see, but I don’t see enough.

  • Italo P

    Em arquitectura não sei, mas no que toca à auto comiseração não há como os portugueses…
    Ah! E a “mandar” abaixo o trabalho dos outros também somos bons.
    Afinal os tipos geniais são muito poucos. A maior parte é gente normal mesmo, tentando fazer o seu melhor.

  • TV

    I think portuguese architecture has one note only and even if Siza and his followers are good, there should be other ways of thinking and designing architecture in Portugal. I won’t even give my opinion about this project, because what i really want to say is that Portugal needs new visions, new ways of thinking (in any area).

  • Moxikito


    Pequeno pais com uns trocados de pessoas. Tem um dos maiores mestres de arquitectura mundial no momento ( o velhote ganhou mais coisas este ano a provar isso ), mas mesmo assim o “povo” nao se agarra ao que ha de bom. Prefere destruir, criticar e nao fazer peidolas. E crise que a muito se arrasta mas apenas de valores.

    Taste is so subjective that it should not even be mentioned. You like? Looks cool? That this that that….. bla bla bla. Post some of your work or get us the links to your awards/titles/CV/el croquis :). Don’t have one? ohhhh…. Maybe work harder and don’t talk shit about other ppl’s work.
    Give us some constructive criticism, like someone who understands somethig about architecture.

    Toy d’cara****

  • Morais

    Sabem do que gosto mais…?…de uma bela luta com “gaijas” a chafurdar na lama !!! GET IT ON !!!

  • Somo

    indeed – it talks about interior courtyard, and sheltering.. yet really all we see is exterior shots and circulation spaces. not even a plan. not really sure how anyone can respond to that… unless all it is is corridors, but then it is a space for passing through and not for being in.

  • Clockwise

    This post only shows the standard architecture in Portugal…what in fact is very good.
    I also agree that this should not be here in dezeen, not for the lack of quality, just because in Portugal we have much better architecture that hasn’t appeared here yet.

  • ar

    Viana…you took my words…I’m portuguese too, living in Spain, yes, because here somehow I have work…But the quality in portuguese architecture is something I still don’t find very often here.

    And for those who talk of boring and a only man made architecture, simply don’t know a think about portuguese architecture. To you I recommend a book which you should all know: It’s called “Modern Architecture: A Critical History” by a ‘señor’ called Kenneth Frampton. Here you can at least get a background.

    And for some pictures of contemporaneous portuguese architecture this site: where yo can see that portuguese architecture is much more than Siza and its followers.

    An though I have to agree that not all is good we’re still trying to do actual Architecture and not just exercises of shape making which is the main course on today’s architecture and probably what everyone’s used to see in Dezeen.

  • t

    a coinsidence – near where i live right now (uk), there is a 1920’s/1930’s house – very simliar in design (from the outside) – have always admired it -now i really want to find out who the architect was………

  • El Greco


    “Old man” Siza? The man is a master.

    Modular: change your name immediately and unstick your head.

  • jarjarWaters

    Homes designed on a budget, are one thing, but homes designed to look like they were designed on a budget are another.

    Simple, clean & nice

  • rj

    what bitchiness!

  • a fine example of minimum line to maximum effect. brilliant

  • love the use flat surfaces