Portugal Lessons

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?



Title Information

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

1st edition

, 2019


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.


Other volumes 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

Fez Lessons

Manor Lessons

Authors & Editors

Augustin Clément

 is an architect working as Teaching Assistant at laba.

Barbara Costa

 is Head of Research at laba, where she currently also pursues her PhD degree. She graduated from University of Porto’s Faculty of Architecture and also holds a Master’s degree in drawing from University of Lisbon’s Faculty of Fine Arts.

Harry Gugger

 is an architect and a Professor at Ecole Polytéchnique Fédérale de Lausanne's (EPFL) School of Architecture since 2005. He is head of EPFL's Basel-based satellite studio Laboratory Basel (laba).

Tiago Trigo

 is an architect working as Teaching Assistant at laba.

Charlotte Truwant

 studied architecture at Ecole Polytéchnique Fédérale de Lausanne and works as a teaching assistant at laba.