Portugal Lessons

Environmental Objects. Teaching and Research in Architecture

How does architecture confront its environment? With whom we live, to whom we open our house and how permeable should its boundary be?



Edited by Harry Gugger, Augustin Clément, Barbara Costa, Tiago Trigo, Charlotte Truwant

1st edition

, 2019

Text English


212 pages, 161 color and 209 b/w illustrations, plans and graphics

21 x 31 cm

ISBN 978-3-03860-109-8

In collaboration with the Laboratoire Bâle (laba), EPFL


Architectural objects confront their environment. They constitute a boundary, a form with an internalized point of view. Understanding architecture as environmental objects suggest a questioning of these dichotomies of separation between the symbolic landmark and the landscape background. It represents an architecture that amplifies nature, attunes to it and makes us aware of it.

Portugal Lessons: Imagining Architecture as Environmental Object takes Portugal as case study for such contextualism going beyond and understanding of design as immunization. Based on the latest research program conducted by EPFL’s Laboratory Basel (laba), it explores the topic of this architectural boundary: with whom we live with, to whom we open our house, how permeable the boundary should be. The findings are visualized in striking images, graphics and maps. The book also features proposals for architectural interventions by laba’s students, all of them tackling issues of housing.


Previously published in the Teaching and Research in Architecture series:

Barents Lessons (out of print)

Swiss Lessons (out of print)

Icelandic Lessons (out of print)

Venice Lessons

Israel Lessons

Autoren & Herausgeber

Augustin Clément

 ist Architekt und arbeitet als Teaching Assistant am laba.

Barbara Costa

 ist Architektin und zurzeit als Doktorandin und Head of Research am laba tätig. Studium der Architektur an der Universität Porto und Master's Degree in Kunst der Universität Lissabon.

Harry Gugger

 ist Architekt und seit 2005 Professor an der Architekturabteilung der Ecole polytéchnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL). Er leitet das EPFL-Studio Laboratoire Bâle (laba).

Tiago Trigo

 ist Architekt und al Teaching Assistant am laba tätig.

Charlotte Truwant

 ist Architektin und als Research Assistant am laba engagiert. Sie hat an der EPFL studiert.

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FAUP, Carlos Ramos Pavillon with classrooms. Project by Álvaro Siza in 1986 © laba staff and students

FAUP, Carlos Ramos Pavillon with classrooms. Project by Álvaro Siza in 1986 © laba staff and students

Municipal Stadium of Braga was built on the site of a quarry, carved into the slopes of Monte Castro © laba staff and students

Monsanto, conquered from the Moors during the 12th century © laba staff and students

Sustainable Camping in Serra da Estrela, Séverine Oppliger

Eco Tourism in the Douro, Victoire Courtaux © Valley Eik Frenzel

Casa de Música, project by Rem Kohlhaas built in 2005 in Porto. A room called cybermusic © laba staff and students


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