The Three Cusps Chalet

PrizeBronze in Architectural Design / Heritage Architecture
Firm LocationBraga, Portugal
CompanyTiago do Vale Architects
Lead ArchitectTiago do Vale

The Three Cusps Chalet is about dualities: front and back, street and block interior plaza, work and home, natural wood and painted wood. Conceived as an (annex serving the small palace by its side) and siting at the heart of the roman walls of Braga, the Three Cusps Chalet documents Portugal's history and diaspora, combining typical eighteen hundreds portuguese architecture and urban design with an alpine influence unexpectedly brought via Brazil. Defined by it's vertical proportions, decorated eaves, white surfaces and natural wood, the building's identity was lost in 120 years of small unqualified interventions, over- compatmenting it and closing it to the street and to the light. Modern aluminum window frames and exterior shade head boxes changed the openings’ stereotomy, the building’s scale and its detail, and disrupted the original sense of the street. On the ground floor, open to the street, stands a work studio, while the top floors are fashioned into a home, relating to a delightful block interior plaza. There’s a great sense of light and space in this building: dividing walls were kept to a minimum and the 19th century architecture was allowed to be the protagonist, with the original staircase organizing all of the building’s spaces. Maintaining its original constructive techniques, materials and functions, this historic building was given back to the city, to people, to a use, by making it fit for today's way of living. More information on