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Summary built eleven irregularly-designed retreat cabins in the woods of Alvarenga, Portugal

Portugal Architecture News - Aug 24, 2022 - 12:44   1353 views

Summary built eleven irregularly-designed retreat cabins in the woods of Alvarenga, Portugal

Portuguese architecture practice Summary has built eleven retreat cabins in the woods of Alvarenga, Portugal by mixing two different accommodation programs for short and long-term vacation purposes.

Named Paradinha  11 Cabins In The Woods, the 512-square-metre complex consists of eleven irregularly-designed cabins made of concrete prefabricated modules scattered on a sloping terrain.

Summary built eleven irregularly-designed retreat cabins in the woods of Alvarenga, Portugal

"Considering the roughness and the remoteness of this plot it would be difficult (and extremely expensive) to assemble construction yards for a traditional building," said Summary

"Thus, in this case, resorting to prefabricated structures was not just a choice, but the only efficient option we had to simplify the building process within such conditions," added the office.

Summary built eleven irregularly-designed retreat cabins in the woods of Alvarenga, Portugal

The initial project brief included to distribute several touristic rooms over the terrain. Instead, the studio proposed to build small houses so that some of them would be able to work as full-time houses rather than tourism units. 

By mixing two different programs, such as tourism and housing, the office has enabled this complex to be occupied and used throughout the year, not just during the holidays.

"This multifunctional approach promotes the intensity of this complex’s occupation, therefore fostering its frequent maintenance and improving the security of the area," according to the firm.

Summary built eleven irregularly-designed retreat cabins in the woods of Alvarenga, Portugal

Like in other projects of the office, for example VLC, the studio built the concrete modules using Gomos System, a construction method based on the idea of the construction systems of the ordinary sewer pipes. 

Thanks to this construction system, the studio are able to collect some technical components, such as water, electricity and climatization, in one module by maintaining the rapidity and the stability of the canalization shells, while allowing creating expandable modules. 

Summary built eleven irregularly-designed retreat cabins in the woods of Alvarenga, Portugal

"This procedure was standardly repeated in the whole project, accelerating its production/assembly process," added the firm.

The cabins are distributed across the land according to the natural configuration of the terrain, altering it as little as possible. The project is composed of eleven small cabins, including 4 different typologies - starting from 28 square meters to 58 square meters.

Summary built eleven irregularly-designed retreat cabins in the woods of Alvarenga, Portugal

The studio preserved the old stone walls and the existing trees on the land – the units were carefully placed around them. "Combining this apparently arbitrary positioning with different orientations allowed the houses not to block each other’s views," the studio added.

From their balconies, behind the wooden slats, guests can see the forest and, in some cases, the river. 

Summary built eleven irregularly-designed retreat cabins in the woods of Alvarenga, Portugal

Summary built eleven irregularly-designed retreat cabins in the woods of Alvarenga, Portugal

Summary built eleven irregularly-designed retreat cabins in the woods of Alvarenga, Portugal

Summary built eleven irregularly-designed retreat cabins in the woods of Alvarenga, Portugal

Summary built eleven irregularly-designed retreat cabins in the woods of Alvarenga, Portugal

Summary built eleven irregularly-designed retreat cabins in the woods of Alvarenga, Portugal

Summary built eleven irregularly-designed retreat cabins in the woods of Alvarenga, Portugal

Summary built eleven irregularly-designed retreat cabins in the woods of Alvarenga, Portugal

Summary built eleven irregularly-designed retreat cabins in the woods of Alvarenga, Portugal

Summary built eleven irregularly-designed retreat cabins in the woods of Alvarenga, Portugal

Summary built eleven irregularly-designed retreat cabins in the woods of Alvarenga, Portugal

Summary built eleven irregularly-designed retreat cabins in the woods of Alvarenga, Portugal

Summary built eleven irregularly-designed retreat cabins in the woods of Alvarenga, Portugal

Summary built eleven irregularly-designed retreat cabins in the woods of Alvarenga, Portugal

Summary built eleven irregularly-designed retreat cabins in the woods of Alvarenga, Portugal

Summary built eleven irregularly-designed retreat cabins in the woods of Alvarenga, Portugal

Summary built eleven irregularly-designed retreat cabins in the woods of Alvarenga, Portugal

Summary built eleven irregularly-designed retreat cabins in the woods of Alvarenga, Portugal

Summary built eleven irregularly-designed retreat cabins in the woods of Alvarenga, Portugal

Summary built eleven irregularly-designed retreat cabins in the woods of Alvarenga, Portugal

Summary built eleven irregularly-designed retreat cabins in the woods of Alvarenga, Portugal

Summary built eleven irregularly-designed retreat cabins in the woods of Alvarenga, Portugal

Summary built eleven irregularly-designed retreat cabins in the woods of Alvarenga, Portugal

Summary built eleven irregularly-designed retreat cabins in the woods of Alvarenga, Portugal

Site plan

Summary built eleven irregularly-designed retreat cabins in the woods of Alvarenga, Portugal

Floor plan

Summary built eleven irregularly-designed retreat cabins in the woods of Alvarenga, Portugal

Section

Summary built eleven irregularly-designed retreat cabins in the woods of Alvarenga, Portugal

Section

Summary built eleven irregularly-designed retreat cabins in the woods of Alvarenga, Portugal

Typology A

Summary built eleven irregularly-designed retreat cabins in the woods of Alvarenga, Portugal

Typology B

Summary built eleven irregularly-designed retreat cabins in the woods of Alvarenga, Portugal

Typology C

Summary built eleven irregularly-designed retreat cabins in the woods of Alvarenga, Portugal

Typology D

The studio previously built VLC, a modular housing project in Portugal's Vale de Cambria.

Summary is an architectural practice founded by Samuel Gonçalves in 2015. 

The office is seeking the balance between pragmatism and experimentalism. This young studio aims for solutions to answer a prominent challenge that the contemporary world places to architecture: how to make the construction act an increasingly summary process?.

Project facts

Project name: Paradinha 11 Cabins In The Woods

Architects: Summary

Completion Year: 2021

Gross Built Area: 512 m2 / sqm

Project Location: Aldeia da Paradinha, Alvarenga - Arouca 

Programme: Tourism, Hotel, Cabins, Tiny Houses

Project beginning date: January 2017

Construction works dates: December 2018 - February 2021

All images © Fernando Guerra FG+SG

All drawings © Summary

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cabin holiday cabin prefabricated Summary