Architects: CVDB arquitectos
Location: Cartaxo, Portugal
Project Team: Diogo Burnay, Cristina Verissimo, António Cotrim, Sofia Brogueira, Tiago Santos, Mireia Cases Sampere
Project area: 350 sqm
Project year: 2005 – 2008
Photographs: FG+SG – Fernando Guerra, Sergio Guerra
The house is located in a lot with 8 x 40 meters (24 x 120 feet) in the urban historical fabric of the city of Cartaxo.
A central patio and a garden allow the light to go through all spaces of the house during the day. This central patio is an importance element in the structure of the house, designing a void, around which the house develops itself. The project explores the length of the site enabling its inhabitants to enjoy its different spaces and visualize, wander or move into and through this axis that becomes the main movement sequence of the project.
The house and the garden are part of the same spatial entity in the way one may dwell in the house and enjoy both its exterior and interior spaces and their multiple inter-relations. This is also manifested by a white wall that brings together circulation and the different spaces of the ground floor, from the entrance, through the circulation long axis, the living room and into the garden, wrapping the music room and then folding back to the living/dining room, where the family may gather. The family main social areas are located on the ground floor. The several spaces on the ground floor have also different headroom, thus emphasizing the different ambiences of the house. The stair that connects both floors only has threads and therefore becomes a visual filter between the entrance and the living room and the garden. One consists as a plastic and transparent element, assuming distinct materiality. It is more massive binding on the lower levels and more transparent binding to the first floor, contributing to filter visually the light that comes from the living area.
Large glazed elements emphasize the relation between the several interior spaces and the garden and the north facing courtyard that brings light to the kitchen and to a small office. The first floor is mainly a white entity gently sits above the ground floor. This floor accommodates the bedrooms and a rather more intimate living room with a play area for the children. The north facing courtyard brings light into this space through a large glazed wall and connects it to the more social spaces of the family located on the ground floor. A second exterior patio painted in strong yellow, frailty reveals itself through a slit on the wall that connects booth patios and organizes a dedicated area to the treatment of clothes.
The smaller spaces of the house such as the kitchen and bathrooms are disclosed with texture and warm colours, in counterpoint with the bigger spaces with a more social character of the house, exploring their particular spatial and light conditions.