A Portuguese Glass House Uses Surrounding Foliage as a Privacy Screen
Inspired by the surrounding landscape of chestnut trees, rocky hillside, and bubbling stream, Portuguese architecture firm 3r Ernesto Pereira chose to blend into, and take advantage of, the local geography rather than fight against it at this sleek, modern home near the coastal city of Porto. At a cost of €100,000 (approximately $125,000) and measuring about 140 square meters, this stunning, wood-and-glass retreat took about four months to construct.
From the exterior, the residence is long and rectangular, with glazed walls that allow for views out into the woods beyond.
The existing foliage were carefully considered, with niches cut out in the home’s form to preserve extant trees, thus creating outdoor spaces that are surrounded on three sides by the interior of the home, akin to courtyards.
The roof is the only solid element, but its neutral gray tone allow it to blend into the hillside as well.
In summer, the dense leafiness of the trees engulfs the whole house, making it almost imperceptible while protecting the interior from the intense sun. In winter, the deciduous trees shed their leaves, allowing the sun to penetrate the home and warm up the interiors, which are slightly more visible behind the bare branches.
Whether indoors or outdoors, this house lets its residents live both in the forest and with the forest.