Chalé das Três Esquinas in Portugal

In the words of the architects Tiago do Vale Architects:

The “Three Cusps Chalet” is a very peculiar building, documenting this region’s history and diaspora, and combining typical 19th century portuguese architecture and urban design with an unexpected alpine influence. This influence is brought by an historic wave of rich portuguese returning from Brazil in the eighteen hundreds, influenced by central-europeans building Brazil’s second industrial revolution.

© João Morgado

Conceived as an annex serving the small palace by its side and siting at the heart of both the roman and medieval walls of Braga, this is a particularly sunny building with two fronts, one facing the street at West and another one facing a delightful, qualified block interior plaza at East, enjoying natural light all day long. The building’s identity had been lost in 120 years of small unqualified interventions, over-compartmenting it, closing it to the street and to the light.

Its façade was equally adulterated: modern aluminum window frames and exterior shade head boxes changed the openings’ stereotomy, the building’s scale and detail, and disrupted the original sense of the street. So, the goal of this design was to clarify the building’s spaces and functions, returning it to its original image, constructive techniques and (mainly habitational) program, while simultaneously making it fit for today’s way of living, giving it back to the city and potentially constituting a model for future rehabilitation projects in the neighbourhood.

© João Morgado

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