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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

Guest House in Carvalhal, Portugal by Paratelier Architect

June 8th, 2011 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: Paratelier Architect

In the vast nature reserve of “pinhal da Comporta” recognized for its typical coastal habitat of pine woods growing on the sand dunes of Atlantic ocean, one surprising element makes the location one of the special “corners” of the universe – the water.

View from the east to the living are (Image Courtesy Leonardo Finotti)

  • Architects: Paratelier Architect
  • Project: Guest House
  • Location: Carvalhal, Portugal
  • Project Team: PARATELIER (Monica Ravazzolo – Leonardo Paiella)
  • Collaborators: Ilaria La Corte, Hugo Amaro
  • Landscape architecture: Gobal – João Gomes da Silva, Catarina Raposo
  • Photographer: Leonardo Finotti
  • Text: Bojan Balen

Dining table and the exterior part of the living room


  • Services engineering: Tropimaloca, lda
  • Structural engineering: Tropimaloca, lda
  • Energetic efficiency: Projecto uno
  • Builder: Tropimaloca, lda

Kitchen elements (Image Courtesy Leonardo Finotti)


  • Client: Rucha A.
  • Program: Guest house, agricultural storage, parking
  • Project year: 2009/2010
  • Construction date: 2011
  • Built area: 115m2
  • Site area: 5,5 ha
  • Cost: 88.000euro
  • Materials: structure from local pine wood, pavement from cork, finishing from plywood

Living area (Image Courtesy Leonardo Finotti)

In the near proximity to the construction site, a small artificial lake intensifies the white colour of the sand, the greens and the browns colours of the pines and the blue color of the sky.

North view to the secundary exit (Image Courtesy Leonardo Finotti)

Sound of the sunlight fills the whole area with the feelings of tranquility and relaxing excitement. Spiritual connection with the nature is unavoidable.

North west view to the main entrance (Image Courtesy Leonardo Finotti)


Primary function of the object is the temporary living space for the guest(s) of the property owner. Additionally, parking area and the storage space for the agricultural activities are completing the simple program set by the client.

Shower and the sanitary area (Image Courtesy Leonardo Finotti)


One volume, located parallel with the lake, is divided into three parts for three different functions – living, storage and parking.  The volume, entirely made from wood, grew out of even simpler element which was multiplied to create light and simple construction that would respect the natural environment in the most sensitive, aesthetic and creative way.

View from the south (Image Courtesy Leonardo Finotti)

Deriving from the single module, with the dimensions of 250 x 450 cm, the whole architecture was made by multiplication of it, to create the three types of program.  The wooden structure that forms the each of ten modules contain a subtile variations depending on the demand of certain type of program.

View from the south east (Image Courtesy Leonardo Finotti)

The first four modules are open from the one side and are serving as the parking space within the object. The following two modules are partly open with the purpose of storaging agricultural and other material.

The next three modules are forming the living area and are more closed in order to create the feeling of privacy and protection against climatic influence, predominately the sun and wind. Each of these three closet modules are helping to organise internal organisation of different situations of living. The first module contains the main enterance and the sleeping room. In the following module there is all infrastructure of the living area which is positioned in the center of the space and are containing the toilet, shower and the kitchen. That central area is consenquently forming the circular communication of the the sleeping area and sanitation and kitchen with the last module which is used as a living room.

View to the internal and external part of the living area

The last, 10th module is also part of the living area and serves as the external prolongation of the living area into the half open terrace. This basic module out of which the whole object arose, makes the architectural link with the typical Portuguese entrance point of the houses and buildings in the terms of proportions and divisions.

To enhance the vivid colours of the nature that are “marking” the whole site, object is made transparent, semi-transparent and opaque, with the ability to transform itself, depending on the needs and the current weather conditions.  Dark shadows on the white sand creates the intensive contrast which expresses the dialog between the object and the surroundings.

Besides clever self-ventilating walls, that are temicaly isolating the house, importance of the nature and the environmental sustainibility is represented through the used materials. Along with the wood, other organic materials like Eco-paint and cork are used to create this highly adaptable, sustainable and recyclable architecture.

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Category: Guest House

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