House Cercal, a traditional house in the middle of the rural landscape of Alentejo

House Cercal, work of the Atelier Data studio, is located in a rural area of ​​the Alentejo region, in Portugal, and sits in the middle of a hillside where a river crosses it.

The search for the correct position and the solar orientation, in parallel with a volume that dialogues with the slope, synthesizes the main guidelines of the intervention strategy.


The architecture of the cercal house reinterprets the archetype of the traditional house as a structure that transports a solid memory while admitting new formal manipulations and spatial interpretations.

It is a proposal that explores the possibilities of a new time and space in a place marked by its novelty.
It introduces patios as an element that improves the light that is reflected in the interior, duplicating the exterior spaces with a more intimate vocation.
The social area represents the center of the house in the functional scheme, around which the rest of the program is organized.

With a total of 250 square meters, the fence house uses local building systems and traditional materials, and adapts them in a contemporary logic.
The relationship and transition between interior and exterior has intensified by extending the roof and projecting a platform that comes from the social area, ending in a pool that acts as a bridge between the natural elements of the environment and the domesticated interior.

With a predominant use of white color in walls and floors, the blue sky of Alentejo has been applied to contrast in transitory and light elements such as the access door to the house.

Photography: Richard John Seymour 

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