A edição deste verão da revista americana Interior Design faz uma nota dedicada à discussão do nosso processo arquitectónico.

A shapely house in the Portuguese countryside is born from Tiago do Vale’s economical, evocative drawings

blue-sky thinking

“Sketching is the most important tool of my practice. It greatly enhances and enriches the design development process and allows me to rapidly evaluate hundreds of big and small variations and possibilities. Everything is tested first by that method; only then do we progress to more permanent and time-consuming 2- and 3-D CAD renderings. There’s a certain ‘weight’ to those seemingly finalized computer drawings that constitutes a barrier to change and improvement, whereas sketching is a lightning-fast action whose result can be trashed without regret.

I like drawing with a black Bic ballpoint -it allows modulation of line strength- in a soft-cover Moleskine notebook. But these particular sketches were made on 80gsm printer paper using a Uni-Ball Eye Micro gel pen, which produces consistent lines that scan well. (Alternatively, ) They were executed midway through project development of a client’s countryside house in Ponte de Lima, Portugal, about 25 miles north of my studio in Braga. The street-facing southwest facade is enigmatic, simple, and monolithic, whereas the northeast exposure is complex. As a result, the details took a bit more work from here to resolve, which occurred during the technical drawing and construction stages.

My aim with both drawings was to represent the project’s graphic aspect: the play between masses and planes, the relationship between opaque white and transparent dark surfaces, and the proportions between volumes. They’re not so much communication tool as thought process. Each of our firm’s obsessively detailed designs emanates from a sketch -although we never know which of the thousands generated along the way will turn out to be ‘the one.’”