Loulé | Portugal


Five intentions dictate the project: the buoyancy of the building - the base is raised more than 50 cm above the average level of the dune system and is based on piles, minimizing the impact of the construction on the sensitive sandy soil and also allowing the construction not to become an obstacle to the constant movement of the sands; light construction - wood dominates the building, structure, walls, floor and roof, being a biodegradable and recyclable raw material; dune protection - the building has a wooden guardrail that receives users of the walkway, not allowing crossing the dunes from the esplanade to the beach or the Passeio das Dunas; the permeability of the construction - the distance from the building to the walkway and the twisting of the uncovered esplanade in relation to the main volume allow the existence of empty spaces, which are intended to promote the spread and consolidation of the plant population, with the objective of soil stability; the reproduction of the rhythm of the “palisades” - asserting itself as an extension of the dune regenerators, in promoting the stabilization of the dune system, the building reproduces the vertical slats on the façades and railings.

The existing walkway allows for visual range, with virtually no physical limits between Passeio das Dunas and the beach.

On the other hand, the Apoio de praia is a building with one storey apparently closed but with tenuous boundaries between interior and exterior. On the roof and walls, opacity and transparency coexist between compartments and circulations.

The coating of the opaque exterior walls with wooden slats allows for a ventilation chamber between this coating and the opaque wall panel, working as a ventilated façade that makes the interior environment more pleasant. Likewise, the slatted cladding allows the opening of gaps without them being fully noticeable, enabling ventilation and natural lighting in closed compartments.

The public and private circulations are covered by a pergola that allows natural light to enter and different effects on the interior walls and floors throughout the day. The inflection of the horizontal to vertical lath dilutes the boundary between wall and ceiling while the transparent façade allows for a perception of the surrounding environment. The support structure of the pergola is not perceptible from the perspective of the user of the space, in order to allow the aforementioned continuity between wall and ceiling.

The set has three opaque volumes connected by a pergola. The seemingly unchanging opacity changes when the establishment is open to the public. The opaque panels of the dining room are opened in a vertical bellows system, being retracted from the ceiling during the opening time. For this reason, the pergola is aligned with the top of the panels collected and not with the ceiling of the compartments, with a ceiling height of 3 meters. Allows users of the indoor dining room to fully enjoy the surrounding landscape. Likewise, the glazed openings are opened in a horizontal bellows system, being retracted on the sides. The dining room is thus expanded and there is no physical boundary between the interior and the exterior.