House ALM, simplicity at its best

house-alm-estudio-ods-ricardo-santos-architecture-arquitectura-more-with-less-designLocated on the eastern side of the Algarve coastline is Tavira, a charming Portuguese town that conceals in its inner city a narrow plot with an old house with two floors and an attic in it. Over time the limits of the plot changed and new constructions were built. As the neighbouring buildings sprang up, the old house was deprived of natural light and ventilation. Despite these unfavourable conditions, Portuguese architects Estudio ODS have managed to recover the original shape and charm of the townhouse they called House


House ALM is in-between two streets, having a main access at the northern side and a secondary access on the opposite side which can be reached through an especially narrow corridor. Due to its elongated shape and depth, to provide the house with natural light and ventilation proved to be a challenge. Estudio ODS proposed a courtyard in the middle of House ALM which would work as the new core of the house while ensuring ample sunlight and ventilation for the inhabitants.


House ALM program is divided by levels. In the ground floor are located the social and living areas:  the hall, dining room, kitchen and WC. The first floor houses two bedrooms and a private bathroom and last, the roof attic holds a terrace that offers a unique cityscape view of Tavira and some extra space.


House ALM is a single family house with a natural and simple beauty


The materials used in House ALM are chosen to fit in the simplicity of the Algarve’s vernacular architecture: hydraulic mosaics can be found all over the interior ground floor, solid wood covers the inner areas of the first floor and grey polished concrete is used in all the outdoor spaces. As a ‘finishing touch’, a red door emphasizes the house access in both north and south elevations.

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Photography is by Ricardo Santos