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INVENTORY

Study model

TRADITIONAL TIMBER CONSTRUCTION BUILDINGS THE EXAMPLE OF THE PORTUGUESE CENTRAL LITTORAL PALHEIROS DANIEL

FERNANDO

OLIVEIRA

MOUTINHO

-

Prof.

Joaquim

Teixeira

-

ARCHITECTURE

DEGREE

FINAL

THESIS

-

FACULTY

OF

ARCHITECTURE

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The wood is the material which, during centuries, had the greater tension resistance - an unquestioned advantage, when compared with clay or stone, also used on traditional construction. In Portugal, it always was one of the dominant structural materials used on vernacular buildings. Its use is distinguished in two main applications: as a complementary material used in the conception of roof structures, walls and foundations; and its integral use, verified in constructions related with certain economic activities, like Agriculture and Fishing, commonly for temporary use. However, this noble material, which served our needs for so long, falls gradually in disuse because of the increasing acceptance of the materials brought by the Industrial Revolution like concrete and steel, which were received with great optimism, as well as their combination of infinite possibilities and unlimited durability. In parallel, and in opposition, wood, probably for being connected with two historical catastrophes, like the fires of London, in 1666 and of Chicago, in 1871, was seen as a precarious material, structurally limited and with reduced durability.

UNIVERSITY

NEW JERSEY

OF

PORTO

ATLANTIC OCEAN PORTUGAL

THE SUBJECT

VIANA DO CASTELO

The timber buildings from the Portuguese Central Littoral were the chosen subject for this study. These constructions, locally know as “Palheiros”, are situated between Espinho Beach and Vieira de Leiria Beach, and probably constitute the majority of the wooden buildings sample in Portugal. Between the factors which determined the origin of the Central Littoral constructions, we enhance the Pine Tree plantation of Leiria, which, since the 13th century, had been a crucial factor for the choice of wood as the main construction material on the involving areas, as well as for naval construction. The fishing technical improvements brought by the Spanish, on the late 18th century, generated a specific fishing technique called “Arte da Xávega”. Besides the use of bigger boats and tools, this fishing process involved the pull of nets, demanding specific geologic characteristics, with no rocks and extensive sand coasts, having special acceptance on the defined coastal limits for this study. For demanding some support buildings, besides shelters for fisherman and their families, this activity inputted the creation of facilities to keep the nets and boats, the cattle and to store and sell the fish. In parallel with the fishing activity, most of these villages were very attractive places for tourists, even more after the railroad connections. In a first moment, they rented the existing fisherman's houses. However, their precariousness - like not having bathrooms, for instance - leads them to build their self timber houses, with higher standards of workmanship, together with a bourgeois look.

PORTO ESPINHO

COIMBRA

LEIRIA

SANTARÉM

LISBOA SETÚBAL

FARO

Map of Portugal Building from summer tourists. Barrinha de Esmoriz, 1914.

Building destroyed by the storm of 1941. Barrinha de Esmoriz.

Barrinha de Esmoriz, 1958.

Building [4-Esmoriz]. Barrinha de Esmoriz.

Building [57-Praia de Mira]. Praia de Mira, 2007.

Praia de Mira, 2007.

Building [60-Praia de Mira]. Praia de Mira, 2007.

Fisherman Building. Praia da Tocha, 60’s.

0

20

40

Fisherman Building. Praia da Tocha, 2007.

THE CLASSIFICATION Envisioning a synthesis of a timber constructive system, we propose a classification based on historical facts and technical solutions found, trying to

in adobes or concrete masonry walls, or just a props' structure dressed with planks.

clarify the evolution process during the time, since the 16th century until nowadays, settled by stages, foundation type and its variants, as well as their location. Three periods were distinguished: A Primitive stage, Middle stage and Final stage. These stages, must be understood on a sequence, where sometimes is registered a parallel evolution during the time.

The Body is the part that still remains, in most cases, integrally in wood, usually composed by two or three floors. For the description of its various constructive solutions, this part, for its complexity, had to be divided on its various components, like flooring structures, walls, stair cases, roof, doors and windows frames, etc., organized according to what is considered to be the woodwork sequence.

Like most of the wooden buildings, the “palheiros” are usually built with the structure isolated from the ground, with the exception of most primitive ones which were directly built over the sand without any foundation care. Nevertheless, we consider that the “palheiro”, formally and constructively, is divided in two distinct parts: the foundation and the body frame. The foundation is the part that, in our point of view, makes possible a typological distinction considering the adopted technical solution, allowing an evaluation of their vernacular conditions. The most rudimentary cases, from the Primitive stage, do not possess a foundation; therefore its frame structure grows directly from the soil - sometimes with just a salt treatment on the stud bottom. On the other cases, the foundation of the “palheiro” is clearly assumed in two main solutions: the Middle Stage is defined by a permeable structure foundation, composed by props, stone or concrete pillars, leaving the wind and the sand cross between; on the Last Stage the foundations seem like an enclosed base, which can be a solid structure,

The climax of the evolution process of this architecture was expressed, probably, with the displacement capacity of some units. This is the result of an empirical improvement of the construction in order to over cross certain problems or limitations: The rise from the ground was made to prevent the accumulation of the sand in the façade walls. However, when the sandbanks moved up to the entrance level, this solution turned out not to be enough. So a new innovation was introduced: the base and the body were structurally separated, making possible the relocation of the body to another place over new foundations. In a significant part of the territory, these houses were completely extinct, and the few which still exist were really hard to find well preserved, proving that most of the consulted writings were outdated, very far from the present reality.

TIME LINE: 16th

BODY

SOIL LEVEL

TIME

STAGE

Late 16th century to late 19th century

FOUNDATION

FOUNDATION

PRIMITIVE

SCHEME

18th

17th

20th

19th

21st

PORTO

VARIATIONS

PORTO

ESPINHO

ESPINHO

PRAIA DE ESMORÍZ PRAIA DA CORTEGAÇA

PRAIA DE ESMORÍZ PRAIA DA CORTEGAÇA

FURADOURO

FURADOURO

SETTLED OVER THE SOIL

TORREIRA

over the soil

TORREIRA

over wood foundation S. JACINTO

S. JACINTO

AVEIRO

COSTA NOVA VAGUEIRA

BODY

Late 18th century to middle 20th century

VAGUEIRA

PRAIA DE MIRA

PRAIA DE MIRA

PALHEIROS DA TOCHA

PALHEIROS DA TOCHA

SETTLED OVER PILLARS BASE

MIDDLE

over the soil

FOUNDATION

over wood foundation

over rocks

over props

over stone pillars

over concrete pillars

SOIL LEVEL

QUIAIOS BUARCOS

QUIAIOS BUARCOS

FIGUEIRA DA FOZ

FIGUEIRA DA FOZ

COVA-GALA COSTA DE LAVOS LEIROSA

BODY

Late 19th century until nowadays

AVEIRO

COSTA NOVA

SETTLED OVER ENCLOSED BASE

FINAL

COVA-GALA COSTA DE LAVOS LEIROSA

PEDRÓGÃO

over the soil

over props

over stone pillars over concrete pillars

over tall walls over low walls

PEDRÓGÃO

PRAIA DE VIEIRA

over solid base

STAGES:

FOUNDATION

PRIMITIVE

PRAIA DE VIEIRA

LEIRIA

LEIRIA EXTINCTION AREAS

MIDDLE

SOIL LEVEL

LAST - Dominant use of vegetable materials on the whole constructions of the central littoral; - The wood would be used for structural purposes; - The fishing crisis on the Aveiro Lagoon leads to a mass migration across the littoral, to the great cities.

EXTINCT TIPOLOGY

Formal division

Classification synthesis

- Migration of Fisherman from Ílhavo, Ovar and Murtosa villages. - The fishing technics depend of the use of small boats and nets - known as the “”small arts” or “chinchorros”.

- Immigration of Spanish from Galicia and Catanunya to the Portuguese Central Littoral, bringing new techniques; - The “big arts” or “arte da Xávega” fishing started to be developed, motivating the foundation of new fishing villages; - specialization of buildings for housing, storage of nets, boats, cattle shelters.

- Railway road expansion beggins in 1856; - High technological development; - The Central Littoral continues to be occupied with new fishing villages; - Improvement of the construction techniques, rising the “palheiro” from the ground, over a permeable foundation of pilotis; - Climax of the timber construction.

Evolutionary synthesis

THE CONSTRUCTIVE SYSTEM AND THE INVENTORY

0

- Vulgarization of new materials; - The is connected with the poorer constructions; - The vegetable material left to be used on construction, in the middle of the century; - Prohibition of the buidings’ mantainance using wood.; - New fishing techinques start to defeat “arte da xávega”. - In the middle of the century the “palheiros” stopped to be built; - The existing buildings evolved in the sense of enclosing the base/ foundation, using not only wood, but also abobes, bricks and massonry of concrete blocks.

20

10

Extinction areas

Although we had verified the generalization of certain details by localitions, we understand that these constructions, independently of their location, have numerous affinities, evidencing a great constructive homogeneity. It is possible to show that each building found consists in a combination of certain standard constructive solutions.

After analyzing a great part of the Portuguese coast, it was concluded that, in opposition with the worst expectations, more than 100 buildings were found. For each one, there's a tracking code for its exact location - like [60-Praia de Mira] for example - and a description table attached, concerning every constructive part, such as the kind of walls, roof, frames, flooring and stairs.

Based on the proposed classification and on the constructive system description, an inventory was made, organized by villages, starting from north to south, describing every single building on the constructive point of view, noting down the extinct motifs, illustrated on the consulted publications.

With this inventory it is possible to show that the found buildings have a huge number of architectural and constructive elements in common, denouncing the coherence of a traditional timber construction technique behind their unique and creative forms.

Roof structure type 1

Roof structure type 4

Roof structure type 2

21

Interior wall structure type 1

Interior staircase type 2

20 3

3

2 19

1 4 2 5

11

1

6

2

2 16

3

1

6

2

3

4

3

4

5

17 6

12

2 17

3

18

5

4

6

7

13

5 2

3 4

6

2 7 2

9 12

16 8

8

10 9

6 9 5 10

17 18 7

18

13 12

7

17

20

11

3

21

8

22

9

23

5 1- vertical planking 10 2- ceiling planking 3- beam 4- exterior vertical 10 planking 5- top plate 12 6- casing 7- stud 3 8- outer sill 9- baseboard 5 10- crossbeam 11-sash window 10 12- joint sealant clapboard 13- bed plate 14- floorboard 13 16- diagonal stud 9 17- ceiling rib 18- bed plate 14 19- tread 20- riser 21- header joist 22- flooring beam 23- stringer 24- anchored sleepers 25- concrete mortar filling 15 26- rock filling 27- compressed soil

3 10

7

11

8

11

5

19

7

14 7 8

5 6

18 8 6

14

14

3

17

16 8

7

7

15 7 8

3

1- top chord 2- stud 3- central stud 4- secondary rafter 5- purlin 6- cripple stud 7- ridge beam 8- top plate

2 3

2

3

1

7

4 1

16

16

13

8 17

Roof struture with two sloaps form the building [2-Esmoriz]. It’s composed by two middle trusses, and supported on the tops by the log walls. The trusses, as well as the roof decking are fixed on the top plate of the side walls.

1- ceiling beam 2- ceiling rib 3- vertical planking 4- exterior wall top plate 5- exterior wall vertical planking 6- stud 8- joint sealant clapboard 9- crossbeam 10- baseboard 11- floorboard 12- bed plate 13- flooring joist 14- main beam 15- granite pillar 16- interior cornice 17- vertical board (3cm thick) 18- casing 19- ceiling board 20- nailer for cornice 21- joint sealant clapboard

6

17 Primitive roof structure of two sloaps. It’s the only structure found, very common on Furadouro Village, which is not conceived as an independent element over the stud walls. The ridge beam and the purlins are fixed over the tallest studs from the side-walls. Sketch based on the field work and on the drawings of E.Veiga de Oliveira and Fernando Galhano.

5

18

19

9 10

16 11 Roof structure with four sloaps which belongs to the building [17-Cortegaça]. Erhaps it can be said that this roof belongs to the family of the type 1, found in Barrinha de Esmoriz Village. The differences are connected with the size, which, in this case was necessary to double the number of purlins per sloap. 1 4

7 2

5 6

4 3

1 10

13 5

3

2

6 9

Structure for ridge beam and purlins support. For being a rudimentary structure conceived by the fishermans, it’s possible to find various solutions with the same purpose. The drawn solution is the one which better describes the found examples in Furadouro Village. Sketch based on the field work and on the drawings of E.Veiga de Oliveira and Fernando Galhano.

1- ridge beam 2- secondary rafter 3- primary rafter 4- purlin 5- second. Rafter’s plate 6- wall’s top plate 7- cross beam 8- bed plate 9- botton chord 10- beam 11- stud 12- block 13- web

1

2 3

3

4

15 3

4

9 7 8

Truss scheme of the building [17-Cortegaça].

1- batten 2- secondary rafter 3- purlin 4- cripple stud 5- hip rafter 6- primary rafter 7- botton chord 8- wall’s top plate 9- second. rafter’s plate 10- nailer for cornice trim

11- ridge beam 12- cross beam 13- interior vertical planking 14- exterior vertical planking 15- ceiling planking 16- joist 17- bearer 18- granite pillar 19- floorboard

Window type 1 12

13- header 14- interior vertical planking 15- joint sealant clapboard 16- zinc plate 17- tenon 18- mortice 19- surface bolt 20- wedge 21- pin 22- stile

13

2

6

Truss scheme of the building [2-Esmoriz].

1- sash window 2- stile 3- top rail 4- hinge 5- vent 6- casing 7- jack stud 8- door stop 9- middle rail 10- bottom rail 11-exterior casing 12- exterior vertical planking

15 13 16 14 6

11

7

1- surface bolt hole piece 2- surface bolt 3- top rail 4- locker base 5- stile 6- frame top rail 7- pane 8- stile 9- muntin

1

8 2

10- nail 11- hinge 12- middle rail 13- frame middle rail 14- bottom rail 15- casing 16- jack stud 17- stud 18- exterior vertical planking

19- joint sealant clapboard 20- interior vertical planking 21- exterior casing 22- header 23- door stop 24- panel 25- frame bottom rail

21 22 16 23

3 4

1

1- sash window 2- exterior casing 3- stud 4- interior vertical planking 5- exterior horizontal planking 6- jack stud 7- exterior casing 8- stile 9- panel 10- stile 11- shim 12- hinge 13- bottom rail 14- surface bolt

1

18

5

2

16

6

3

17 19

7 6

8

4

7

5

8

1

17

6

2

18

5

9

4

10

6

20

11

2

13

Standard details. This kind of staircase is very common on the buildings from Costa Nova Village, usually for tourist renting, turning possible an independent entrance to the 2nd floor. The bottom landing is server by two doors: one for the exterior, and another for the 1st floor secondary entrance. The residual spaces under and above the stairs are commonly used for closet or sanitary instalation.

14

3

9

27

Interior door type 2

2 9

8

26

5

12 7

25

13

5 1

Standard details. This kind of wall consists in a vertical planking, 1,3cm thick, nailed on the bottom to the baseboards, and on top to the joists and ribs of the upper floor. On the key spots, like the encounters between walls, have thicker planks, of 3cm, to increase the buckling resistence.

Window shutter type 1

4

6

14

11

Window shutter type 4

Window shutter type 3

12

24

12 13

3

9

7

14 10

4

11 19 12

7

10 10 11

15

8

20

14

13

8

9

9

21 21

14 10

10

22

11

15 16 11 17

12

18

16 1- casing 2- stile 3- rail 4- interior vertival planking

24

5- stud 6- exterior vertical planking 7- joint sealant clapboard 8- hinge

9- panel 10- travessa inferior 11- outer sill 12- sash window

Standard details. Window shutter with two panels. Its is difined by tenon and mortice joinery fixed by wedges and pins.The hinges are bolted on the exterior casing and on the panel stiles..

13

25

13- middle rail 14- knob 15- surface bolt 16- exterior baseboard

14 19 15

20 Standard details. Window shutter with two panels. Its is difined by tenon and mortice joinery fixed by wedges and pins. It’s one of the most common frames found on nowadays “palheiros”, specially on Costa Nova Village.

Standard details.Window of two panels.This kind of frame can be used as primary or secondary entrance to the building. Like the type 3, this example does not have tenon and mortice joinery with the exception of the muntins. Every frame part is fixed with nails.

Standard details. Window shutter with two panels. Its defined by a a very simple and primitive conception, similar to the exterior door type 3, which only used nails on the frame joinery.

Constructive system samples. PRAIA DE MIRA

Sample of the Inventory table.

Sample of a location map

“Palheiro” being displaced. Ovar village, 1958.

Picture of “A Scientific Autobiography”, by Aldo Rossi.

Sample of the sketches of study.

22

1- middle stile 2- panel 3- tenon 4- mortice 5- pin 6- wedge 7- stile 8- decorative metal plate 9- handle 10- locker 11- locker metal plate 12- door stop

13- stud 14- casing 15- vertical planking 16-top stile 17- hinge 18- stile 19- nail 20- middle rail 21- bottom rail 22- key

Standard details. Interior door with one panel. It is defined by tenon and mortice joinery fixed by nails, pins and wedges.


Portuguese traditional timber construction builldings