Solar shading isn't exactly the sexiest-sounding thing in the world, but Portuguese studio dIONISO LAB has somehow managed to make it look quite titillating. It's safe to say that their House 77 in Póvoa de Varzim, Portugal, is the showstopper of the block with its futuristic aluminum façade which is (if you look closely) perforated with cutouts of symbols indigenous to the area. The home's shiny armor minimizes cooling costs by keeping the sun's rays at bay, but can be pulled aside whenever the homeowner wishes to show off the gorgeous minimalistic interior.
We’ve seen homes with metal facades before, but what makes House 77’s one of a kind is the special meaning behind the shapes of its perforations. Instead of the typical circle cutouts, the home’s frontispiece features “siglas poveiras” or symbols that were used in the area long ago to communicate and mark personal and fishing belongings. “In this way, the house, in the very centre of “Bairro Norte“, shares some of the city’s memories and references with the population and revitalizes a legacy that has been progressively forgotten and abandoned,” write the architects. “Quietly, the house confesses its pride in the city.”
The metal shutters imbue the property with identity, but also work to shade the interior from the sun. When open, the full-height, floor-to ceiling windows, are revealed, as well as the intimate balcony area between the two façades.
The interior of the home is basic and laid out in a vertical and, in the words of the architects, a hierarchical way. The gathering areas are on the lower floors while the bedrooms and other private areas are on the higher levels. To maximize the space inside the home, the main areas are divided into half-floors, defined by the central staircase. The stairs, like the home’s facade play a double role by lending an aesthetic element while at the same time performing a function.