Estela House in Vale da Telha


Estela is a single-family house in Vale da Telha, a residential district belonging to the municipality of Aljezur (Faro, Portugal), where the maximum allowed building height is two floors and where the use of roofing tile is mandatory. The house was primary developed on one level, except for the occasional elevation.

It is an exercise in the symbiosis between traditional Aljezur architecture and contemporary building design. The end result is a hybrid house whose façade to the streets looks just like any other house in the area, with its tall chimney, curved ceramic tiles, continuous bench (where we sit and watch the passers-by) and white walls rooted in the ground.

A tour of the house reveals a desire to the rise above the pine trees in search of the horizon over the sea. With this desire, it proffers a hand to modern architecture and endeavours to strike a balance between the past and the present, between tradition and functionality, between what is possible and what is desirable.

location: Vale da Telha, Aljezur, Portugal

project: 2006-2007

building: 2008-2011

architects Sara Tavares Costa y Pablo Díaz-Fierros

collaborators David Breva, Paula Ferreira

structure Sergio Valadez, Catsoli S.L.

installations Pedro Costa, Catsoli s.l.

developer Maria Estela Magalhães Alves da Costa

building contractor Sovimar, Celpinta, José Antonio Araújo

build surface area 240 m2 + 869 m2 (garden)

budget 290.000 €

modelling Joanna Jedrus

photographer Pablo Díaz-Fierros