Paratelier's concrete house recycles
external formwork inside

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This concrete house in the Portuguese town of Palmela by Lisbon office Paratelier was cast inside wooden panels that were then used to build its interior (+ slideshow).

House in Palmela by Paratelier

Paratelier designed the property for a site on the end of a terrace in the centre of the town, with views towards the medieval castle perched on top of a nearby hill.



The house's simple monolithic form references the solid walls of the fortress and the geometric hipped roofs of the surrounding buildings, while the ochre pigment added to the concrete evokes the colour of the archetypal tiled roofs.

House in Palmela by Paratelier

Windows mounted flush with the facades are irregularly spaced around the building, while the front door facing the square is set back slightly in an exaggerated tall and narrow opening.

House in Palmela by Paratelier

The external concrete walls were cast inside pine panels, with the grain of the wood creating a textured finish on the final surface.

House in Palmela by Paratelier

The panels were subsequently cleaned and planed so they could be reused internally as floorboards, walls and built-in furniture. The architects claim that 93 per cent of the wood has been reused in the project.

House in Palmela by Paratelier

A double-height entrance, filled with natural light from patio doors and a window set in the end elevation, leads to a staircase that ascends to the first floor.

House in Palmela by Paratelier

Private areas including bedrooms and a bathroom located on the first floor are sandwiched between a circulation space containing the stairs on one side, and a corridor and a terrace that runs along the length of the rear facade.

House in Palmela by Paratelier

A second flight of stairs continuing to the top floor is designed with open treads formed at the junction of vertical balustrades, which rise up from the floor and descend from the wall above.

House in Palmela by Paratelier

The stairwell offers evidence of the building's construction process, with the bare concrete walls on one side facing the timber in which it was cast on the other.

House in Palmela by Paratelier

The kitchen and dining space is situated on the second floor, along with a lounge area and a small desk space at the top of the stairs that looks out over the square.

House in Palmela by Paratelier

Sliding doors at the rear of the space open onto a terrace, enclosed by a railing made from the same rusted steel reinforcing bars used in the cast concrete.

House in Palmela by Paratelier

Ceilings on the top floor slope to follow the building's roofline, and a skylight is incorporated above the stairwell to direct light down into the centre of the house.

House in Palmela by Paratelier

The kitchen cabinets and sections of the walls are also constructed from the repurposed wooden moulds.

Photography is by Leonardo Finotti and used with permission.

House in Palmela by Paratelier
Concept diagram – click for larger image
House in Palmela by Paratelier
Ground floor plan – click for larger image
House in Palmela by Paratelier
First floor plan – click for larger image
House in Palmela by Paratelier
Second floor plan – click for larger image
House in Palmela by Paratelier
Section one – click for larger image
House in Palmela by Paratelier
Section two – click for larger image
  • Captain Spanky & the pancakes

    Beautiful Haus! Why did they not use cross laminated timber? Staircase is very nice!

  • Guest

    Stunning and clever.

  • Jun Hirasawa

    Fantastic! A very cost-effective solution.