Gallery: DT House: Bioclimatic Box That is Out of This Biosphere


Jorge Graca Costa is a prize-winning young architect whose design mantra has always been “architecture for a better future.” As his first major residential project, DT House is a resounding expression of his particular approach. This compact box is a perfect example of how smart, energy-efficient design principles can be applied practically (and beautifully) to fulfill the many requirements of human living. In this case, thinking inside the box, Costa gives us a bioclimatic beauty that is completely out of this biosphere.

Located in Oeiras, Portugal near the capital city of Lisbon, DT House sits on a hill overlooking the surrounding landscape. Social spaces are located on the first floor while private areas are situated on the upper floor. The volumes are differentiated by two contrasting external claddings.

The residence is served by a passive heating and cooling scheme that is much more efficient than typical heating and cooling technologies. To capitalize on cool sea breezes, the pool is located directly outside the social areas of the house, fulfilling both a social and strategic purpose. The pool water is chemical-free and can also be reused in the garden. Natural lighting spills into every part of the social area downstairs, reducing the need for conventional lighting. Most recently, DT House was one of the many amazing international entrants in the World Architecture Festival’s Private House category.

+ Jorge Graca Costa

Via World Architecture News

Photos by FG + SG Fotografia de Arquitectura


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  1. ronald emmanuel March 26, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    this house look simple but creative…from first picture, it looks like dangerous.anyway, it looks nice too..

  2. Joe H. February 28, 2009 at 6:51 pm

    Lovely box. Where is the home that came with it?

  3. bandar February 7, 2009 at 9:11 am

    Nice and simple

  4. catherinedcollins January 28, 2009 at 11:48 am

    I like the boxy look and I think the simplicity of this design is so attractive. I tend to agree that it would be nice to see some houses like this that look lived-in. I would be interested in the details of how energy efficient it is – I don’t doubt it but just curious… tres tres chic – Thanks for the interesting article!

  5. G-Tek January 27, 2009 at 8:57 pm

    I’m not tired of looking at boxes in Architecture, I am however tired of looking at homes that are considered great examples of quality architecture that are completely empty of all human artifacts. The lower floor of the DT house is supposed to be a social space however I dont see any piece of furniture that supports these kinds of activities. Sure there is a huge table but where are the seats?

    I would like to see evidence of a home being lived in, I dont mean clutter but I want to see stuff. For too long has Architectural photography and design produced stark, uninhabitable images.

  6. leafpure January 27, 2009 at 8:22 pm

    Awesome. Thank you for bringing the modern architecture up front, Inhabitat. :)

  7. ericf January 27, 2009 at 4:59 pm

    I am also tired of looking at cube-house-world. It’s curious to me that these simplified sorts of homes are blowing past the cost of an average mcmansion and yet having only half the square footage. Where is this money going? Obviously not to materials, embellishments or overly complex structures.

    Secondly, how is this supposedly more efficient? Seems like they bought better appliances and put a pool in front? Is that all? I bet all THAT offsets the giant, non-sunshaded windows or the fact that the place isn’t even greenscaped at all to prevent the wind that’ll invariably hit this Duplo Block construction.

  8. TJ January 27, 2009 at 1:26 pm

    Actually I am not tired of looking at boxes put on top of each other.

    I find their simplicity quite responsible and mature. This becomes even more apparent when one considers that most building products and materials are linear, and are best suited to square and rectangular forms.

    What I am tired of looking at is the vast suburban sprawl of faux “american” homes.

  9. lassenc January 27, 2009 at 6:20 am

    Am I the only one tired of looking at boxes put on top of eachother?

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