Project: Single family house
Author: José Carlos Nunes De Oliveira, Arq.; No Arquitectos, Lda
Collaborators: arch. Gonçalo Ferreira; arch. Hugo Araujo
Area: 162 sqm
Budget: € 100.000
They came to me and asked me to design a 160 m² house for €80,000. I told them it wasn't possible; I proposed them to raise the budget a bit, and I would have accepted.
Poetry is not exclusive property of the wealthy.
A few days later they returned; they could go as high as €100,000.
What a good headache!
The site area has 390 sqm and it was predicted an implantation area of 110 sqm (a maximum capacity of 220 sqm on two floors). There is no budget for all that. I proposed a 9 x 9 x 6 m house, two levels, 162 sqm. The town hall rejected. In Portugal is not acceptable to build less (?! …) than the predicted in the Allotment Plan. We start to work on the request to change the Allotment Plan.
The site has the shape of a slice of pizza, but the flat topography didn’t follow the slope of the western street. The terrain was occupied by vegetable gardens and outbuildings ready to demolish.
The level plans divided the program.
The social functions and services are on the ground floor and on the first floor the three bedrooms and a toilette.
To cut down the budget we identified the more expensive options of a building.
- We reduced the number of toilettes (only 2 units serving the two floors, one of them with bath).
- We prefer to invest on the energy efficiency of the building instead of an expense in finishing materials. I imagine the house as a mini-bunker. Natural concrete walls inside and in the outside a thermal insulation component system with 8-10 cm thick.
- The same austerity was used to rationalize the available area. In the centre of the ground floor a block of 5.2 x 3.7 m contain kitchen, toilette service, stairs (in the basement a storage space) and the room shelves. Without using partitions, the remaining space was divided.
We were out by €10,000.