Studio 3A in collaboration with Mima Housing Cabanas in Comporta (delivery March 2019)
photo credits: Nelson Garrido
Studio 3a is an architectural studio that considers that their first step when designing a new project is to look at the vernacular architecture in its area and take in the construction method and strategy. They believes in responding to their clients’ intentions by designing projects in a very intimate way, connecting the design with the environment utilising the climate to our advantage.
“I want this place to be my retreat, give me a bed and a bathtub and I’m happy”. This is the brief we had from our client from the project cabanas in Comporta, a small private residential project.
The initial project was just that, a 12 sqm bedroom hut with a bathtub, the “intimate module” as they like to call it. Gradually, as the conversations with the client started to develop, a new hut appeared on the project. The “social module”. Then another hut for safekeeping the clients’ car collection. The “service module”. With this organicity more huts started blossoming and at this point – why not a pool too?
As local connoisseurs, they based the construction method on
the traditional fishermen huts/cabanas as an inspiration for their project.
These huts have been built in this area for years and are very functional and quick to build which was another important point of our brief. With this construction type they had a couple of challenges to face which was the hot-summer Mediterranean climate and the mosquitos which are well known to bug you in the area.
They implemented various sustainable strategies to reduce the heat sensation such as the calculated overhangs in front of the main windows, low emissivity window panes and a tensioned solar shading system in between the cabana modules.
Solar orientation was a key factor on the placement of the cabanas as well as the direction of the wind flow. The cabana flooring is dark cement in order to take advantage of its thermal mass properties and a double blind system (interior and exterior) to control heat gain during summer/winter and doubling up as a mosquito net since the external blind literally zips down when needed insuring the mosquitos stay out.
They collaborated with Mima Housing which is a pre fabricated expert studio which helped them with the process of the project. When extreme temperatures arise we have photo-voltaic panels and heat pumps to be used as an alternative energy source to heat or cool the cabanas.
The facade finish is charred Douglas wood as a sustainable feature as well. The Japanese technique shou sugi ban was a no brainer – no toxins or chemicals involved, maintenance free and showing the beauty of the veins of the wood itself. The black cabanas sit perfectly amidst the wild pine trees inviting you to come in and share your thoughts.