Santa Isabel Houses by Bak Gordon

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Santa Isabel Houses by Bak Gordon

Two stark concrete houses in Lisbon feature secluded courtyards with overflowing ponds and swimming pools (photographs by Fernando Guerra).

Santa Isabel Houses by Bak Gordon

Designed by Portuguese architects Bak Gordon, the residences replace industrial sheds in the Santa Isabel district.

Santa Isabel Houses by Bak Gordon

Residents enter the single-storey houses through bright yellow doors that interrupt the rough grey concrete facade.

Santa Isabel Houses by Bak Gordon

Windows face inwards towards the private courtyards, turning away from overbearing apartment blocks that closely surround the houses.

Santa Isabel Houses by Bak Gordon

The larger of the two houses provides a home for the client's family whilst the second is for rent.

Santa Isabel Houses by Bak Gordon

We've featured a few Portuguese architecture projects on Dezeen recently, including a dreamy holiday bunker, an asymmetrical white house and a medical research centre with striking circular cut-aways - click here to see all our projects in Portugal.

Santa Isabel Houses by Bak Gordon

Other projects by Bak Gordon include a refurbished concrete school and a house with colourful windows - see all the stories here.

Santa Isabel Houses by Bak Gordon

Here are some more details from the architects:


"Perhaps what’s most important in this project is the desire to refer to the city that exists within the 
city – the places inside the city, whose matrix anchored in street, square and block it originated.

Santa Isabel Houses by Bak Gordon

There 
are many such places in Lisbon – more or less old, deeper or more open to the sky, but always very 
impenetrable.

Santa Isabel Houses by Bak Gordon

This other city, so often abandoned and unhealthy, can be recovered, giving way to another network of 
places, like overlapping meshes that can constitute a regeneration of the urban fabric.

Santa Isabel Houses by Bak Gordon

All this concerns the project for two houses built in the midst of a block in Santa Isabel, a site with 
an area of about 1.000 square meters previously occupied by semi-industrial sheds and with access via a 
small store open to the street.

Santa Isabel Houses by Bak Gordon

The programe mandated the construction of two houses, a bigger one meant for the family’s daily life and 
another two-bedroom one to be rented – all in the area of about 400 square meters for which construction 
was authorized, replacing the existing sheds.

Santa Isabel Houses by Bak Gordon

The site was notable in that the empty space stood out with respect to the built, and for the vertical 
surroundings embodied in the façades of the neighbouring buildings, which would suggest a very horizontal 
building, in contrast.

Santa Isabel Houses by Bak Gordon

So we built a house with very regular and hierarchic spaces – the voids – around which the programmatic 
living spaces gravitated.

Santa Isabel Houses by Bak Gordon

A first patio, more public, receives and distributes between the two houses.

Santa Isabel Houses by Bak Gordon

Inside the house, we move among patios and gardens (some more contemplative, others bigger and for 
effective use) and trees which will grow here, projecting the scale over time.

Santa Isabel Houses by Bak Gordon

The house is almost obsessively built solely of exposed reinforced concrete.

Santa Isabel Houses by Bak Gordon

Peripheral limits are 
covered in green climbers (changing natural element), while the other walls and roofs are left as such, 
simultaneously powerful and delicate, to resist the pressure of the environment.

Santa Isabel Houses by Bak Gordon

Throughout these places an illusion is created in the confrontation of positive/negative, closed 
construction and void, which directs how the space is structured.

Santa Isabel Houses by Bak Gordon

Between “being inside” and “being outside” 
are the modular steel windows, less wide where filtration is desired and larger to provide a generous expanse.

Santa Isabel Houses by Bak Gordon

Whoever goes there must enter by a yellow door."

Santa Isabel Houses by Bak Gordon

  • alechs

    Thank god there isn't a roof-top pool when you see the ceiling leak on the 4th last photo.

  • yuc

    Massive walls and the courtyard are always the right choice for a home especially in warm climates. So thanks for keeping away from fashinable froms and materials.
    Yet I must say that I cannot come to like exposed concrete in a house (Ando's are something else, they are like private temples); it is the material of public building, I think.

    • zee

      on the contrary, I find this project very much in line with 'fashionable' form-making and materials – sort of international-style-villa-wannabe.

      the courtyard is indeed a great principle, but here it's rather poorly used – the concrete seems very massive, and despite of the amount of space apparently available, both the courtyard and the living spaces have no interesting interaction, because the lines are so relentlessly straight – the rooms feel pinched between a wall and a garden.

      and of course you get the predictable minimalist kitchen, turquoise lap pool, etc.

      I find the buildings behind the wall almost more interesting – and at least, quirky!

      • YHZ

        This scheme just won the most significant architecture prize in the iberian peninsula…not bad at all for a wannabe!
        Such a predictable comment zee…I could see this one coming.

        Best,
        YH

  • http://www.marco-lammers.nl Mks

    Interesting project. However, it is the sort of project I'm dying for floorplans.

  • Loser

    agreeing with "alechs" WHY IS THE ROOF LEAKING??? :0:0:0

  • Magichobo

    Agreeing with Mks, floor plans would be wonderful. Apparent leak is worrying to say the least.

  • jacob

    Looks like misapplied sealant, not a leak.