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Architectural Gem of the Day: Casa Tolo, Portugal
Julia Levitt, 26 Aug 08

I came across this gorgeous design for a vacation home in northern Portugal this morning, and was absolutely inspired by its display of creativity, efficiency and relative affordability:






The structure, designed by architect Alvaro Leite Size Vieira, is certainly luxurious, with three bedrooms, a small outdoor pool and other amenities. But it also works in harmony with the natural environment, not only aesthetically – reflecting the curve and grade of the hillside – but also practically, optimizing access to natural sunlight with south-facing orientation, and benefiting from natural cooling resulting from its position within the ground.

But as far as luxury homes go, it's not completely inaccessible: According to the bloggers at New York WTF, the house was built for the equivalent of $150,000 U.S. dollars.

It's this kind of thinking that gives me hope for an end to a culture that is quite nearly its opposite:

Photo credit: Casa Tolo photos by Fernando Guerra.

Thanks to our friends at Slow Home for sharing the McMansion video with us!

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Julia, if we were to build more of these, would our civilization become more - or less - sustainable?

Posted by: David Foley on 26 Aug 08

As much as I love concepts like these, it still looks like a bunker.

Posted by: Malaprops on 27 Aug 08

If you have good legs and lungs:)))))
othereise: where are the roller stairs and elevators???
it is a creative design:)

Posted by: gl on 27 Aug 08

that this home even appears on this website shows that we have more to learn about sustainability. though beautiful in its own right, it likely contains over 100 cu yards of concrete, a very energy and carbon intensive material. I would suggest that the fascination with concrete and steel is not grounded in much understanding of the impact of these materials with our 6 billion and growing numbers.

Posted by: TB on 28 Aug 08

Looks ... nice, but personally I'd prefer a cute little cob or strawbale cottage nestled in a garden.

Posted by: Katkinkate on 6 Sep 08



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