This project was triggered by the romantic idea of conceiving a home where family can share a common place. A cozy retreat was requested, where it would be possible to conciliate anything: from family celebrations to a couple enjoying the simple pleasure of a place designed for all stages of life. The presence of grandchildren required leisure spaces to welcome them. From this vision, which reflects all the premises of a comfortable and functional home, the concept of this simple house was born, framed in an almost bucolic context of the typical suburbs of the northern cities of Portugal. Although very close to the center of the cities of Espinho, Vila Nova de Gaia and the vibrant city of Porto, this house, located in the quiet village of São Félix da Marinha, takes advantage of the calm and tranquility of a location that, although served by easy access to urban proximity, also benefits from the peaceful environment of neighboring crops and the line of coastal locations punctuated by numerous popular beaches.
From a simple housing program to a 3-bedroom house with large, fluid and accessible areas, with spaces for socializing and leisure, the starting volumetry is deconstructed and adapted to pre-existing elements on the ground - the cork oaks. Keeping them was mandatory and the volume adapted to them as well as to the shape of the plot and program. Creating particular physical and visual dynamics that enrich spatial experience. The more linear volume side contains the rooms whose identical size allows for a modular metric to be marked on the corresponding elevation, revealing a matrix on which the rest of the program is based.
Spaces with a service character such as the garage, laundry room and kitchen are more associated with car and pedestrian access. The remaining program focuses on the central, innermost area of the land where the pool is located. Thus, it is possible not only to be more reserved in relation to the street but also to take advantage of a privileged visual environment. The project is distributed on one level, providing natural light to all rooms through generous openings, a patio or even skylights. Between the living room and the bedroom area, a small patio opens up, visually relating the spaces and illuminating the circulation area.
From the deconstruction of the volume, a common element stands out - the roof pane. With angular contours, this pane unifies the spaces and brings together alignments, intersections and directions, encompassing the main areas of the house around the patio. An external volume houses a regional kitchen and a dining area with barbecue that is intended to be covered by a vine, offering shade and freshness to a space that is expected to be of great use during the summer for extended family gatherings by the pool. This volume, positioned on the west side of the plot, encloses the central space of the pool.
The color white is dominant. The materials sobriety reflects the project’s simplicity. The granite slab that defines all paths and covers the outdoor living areas refers to a typical material from the region, and is used not only because of its local availability but also because of its durability and easy maintenance. Its application is stripped of elaborate details, with a conventional stereotomy. Interior materials jump between white and wood, resulting in sober and bright environments. The glazed facades allow a lighter feel, facilitating the inherent connection between the socializing and resting areas with the exterior.