House in Lisbon by Luís and Tiago Rebelo
de Andrade and Manuel Cachão Tojal


This narrow townhouse in Lisbon has bushy plants all over its body and a swimming pool on its roof.

House in Travessa do Patrocínio

Designed by Portuguese architects Luís Rebelo de Andrade, Tiago Rebelo de Andrade and Manuel Cachão Tojal, the three-storey house was designed as a vertical garden that includes 25 different Iberian and Mediterranean plant species.

House in Travessa do Patrocínio

"Different fragrances are spread throughout the floors," the architects told Dezeen. "In the swimming pool you will have the flavour of saffron; in the bedroom, lavender; in the living-room, rosemary."

House in Travessa do Patrocínio

"In the heart of a busy city, the vertical garden creates an unique link with nature and an unexpected atmosphere," they added.

House in Travessa do Patrocínio

A single staircase spans one side of the house to connect all three floors and the roof terrace. The architects describe them as "an allusion to the famous stairs of Alfama," in reference to the stepped streets in the oldest area of the city.

House in Travessa do Patrocínio

On the roof, the narrow pool stretches along the whole length of the terrace so that it can be used for swimming lengths.

House in Travessa do Patrocínio

Living and dining rooms are on the second floor, while bedrooms occupy the first floor and a garage and music room are on the ground floor.

House in Travessa do Patrocínio

Other buildings with green walls on Dezeen include a pharmacy and clinic in Japan and a furniture showroom in Brazil.

House in Travessa do Patrocínio

See all our stories about green walls »

House in Travessa do Patrocínio

Photography is by Fernando Guerra.

House in Travessa do Patrocínio

Here's a description from the architects:

House in Travessa do Patrocínio

From a small lot with its unique implantation, this project has raised early on a couple of challenges... and along with them, ideas emerged.

House in Travessa do Patrocínio

Above: ground floor plan - click above for larger image

The box housing deviates from the gable to create a vertical yard (glass box), with a straight ladder connecting all floors, an allusion to the famous stairs of Alfama, running between the all four floors walls and linking the various dimensions.

House in Travessa do Patrocínio

Above: first floor plan - click above larger image

This courtyard is the heart of the house, bringing light to the interior, enhancing the main entrance and creating a real exterior/interior relationship.

House in Travessa do Patrocínio

Above: second floor plan - click above for larger image

In terms of material, we chose to polish the rectangular form and give the block the face of a tree, making it one more element of the square, which resulted together with the existing tree and water fountain, in a triad.

House in Travessa do Patrocínio

Above: roof plan - click above for larger image

The program was set up almost automatically, the technical services and garage with direct access from the street, the first floor holding the private area of the house. The second floor is the social area, with a direct connection to the coverage, extending social into outdoors, being the view related to the social side and the private area to both square and Embassy, the setting of a typical Lisbon experience, which is a truly intimate relationship between quarters.

Therefore, this project is in fact a mini lung and an example of sustainability for the city of Lisbon, keeping the principles of a living typical habitat and a relationship with the outside, assuming a revitalizing urban role.

House in Travessa do Patrocínio

Above: section - click above for larger image 

Architects: Luís Rebelo de Andrade, Tiago Rebelo de Andrade & Manuel Cachão Tojal
Co-Workers: Madalena Rebelo de Andrade, Raquel Jorge, Carlos Ruas & Tiago Moniz
Location: Travessa do Patrocínio, Lisbon, Portugal
Project Year: 2008-2012
Project Area: 248 sqm
Client: BWA – Buildings With Art

Construoeiras, Obras Públicas e Construção Civil SA
Supervision - RTNC,Lda - Eng. Rui Taborda
Electrical, Communications and Safety - EppE - Eng. José Cardoso Water and Sewer - Carlos Nunes Baptista
AVAC - Prom & E, Lda – Eng. Luis Baião
Gardens - Adn-Garden Desing

  • It looks wonderful. Fantastic attention to detail throughout. Wouldn’t want to fall down those stairs though – it’s a long way down with nothing to break the fall!

  • Donkey

    Love this. Seems both practical/easily liveable and beautiful. What’s the square footage of the building’s footprint?

  • Like the idea, especially the fragrances, though would perhaps prefer the ground wall to be wholly wood-faced.

    That and a rail of some sort for those stairs – wonderfully minimal, but wouldn’t fancy my chances after a glass or two of Giesta Dao.

  • Chaszr

    Masterful planning, wonderful execution. Maybe a little less fur.

  • Very Japanese in its use of space on a small footprint. Have to love the use of vertical planting – creates a cool feel in a warm climate.

  • F W

    In a few years it will all be weeds. Bad idea.

    • José Maria Montargil

      Weeds? Have you heard about gardenning? Go to the net and read about it.

  • Marc

    Nice idea on paper. Hope they have a back-up plan. Let’s check in after a couple of years – plants on walls are a passing fad and aren’t a long term solution. There’s no sustainable benefit: they require high-maintenance watering systems that inevitably fail, it’s difficult to replace dead plants and it’s hard to manage disease. Just another academic toss; let’s move on. Other than that, a very beautiful building.

  • Bob

    Weeds? Smoke it!

  • greenwash

    Please can you photograph/research some follow up pictures to green vertical walls – I don’t think they last over time by all accounts – agree with Marc.

  • KDS

    Lovely, simple design with great space planning. Would love to see photos of the main living spaces. But, no lavatory on the main living floor?

  • Lisbon Travel

    I know that house. I think it is in Lapa, Lisbon.