- Design Team: Pedro Oliveira
- Landscape: Paulo Palma
- City: Esposende
- Country: Portugal
Text description provided by the architects. This design could be something of ephemeral, specifically in wood, - it would consciously last no longer than 20, 30 years -, should be conceived thinking of childhood still in its early stages and of the family life, and its construction should, last but not least, be fast, very fast, as in a race against the clock disputed with these two last "space-time". In the teardrop-shaped triangle that we find in a corner of Gemeses, in Esposende, towards the banks of the Cávado River, shall "fit" a large social space for the whole family, both interior and exterior, and three units for an overnight stay, all this articulated with the arrival and accommodation of a few cars. The articulation shall be added as well with all the classical conditioning of architecture, from the various commitments with the place to the dialogue between us and the rules established by public entities.
The house could have two floors to free up as much land as possible. A square plan was then designed, 10x10m, taking advantage of all the quadrants of the surrounding landscape, e.g., for its solar orientation, or for the greater vastness of the woods to disappear from view to the north. The entire ground floor with a solid perimeter was saved for the social space, which should also be exterior: the durable concrete of the foundation was made from the "social cement", framed by wooden boards of 12cm placed horizontally, following the direction of its construction process, concrete from top to bottom. Only one layer of social space could ever take precedence over this one: the truly ephemeral and circumstantial of the overnight spaces, upon the heavy square of the house, made in wood, also in boards of 12cm placed vertically, helping to assemble the material which, unlike concrete, the worker applies the scaffold.
The ground floor houses the production/service spaces of the kitchen, the laundry, and the bathroom, and all the spaces which, through the placement of a concrete pillar, can be organized: to the south, an extended interior solarium on an outdoor terrace, through a threshold; to the north, on the contrary, a living area and a dining room through the projection of a bow window. Thanks to the depth and design of the threshold/porch, the opening of 8 meters of glass also allows us to not feel uncomfortable while inside. The wind can become quite disturbing considering the typical weather in Gemeses.
Between the depth of the threshold to the south and the bow window filigree to the north, there is the access staircase to the upper floor to the east, projected over the land. The access space to the bedrooms, accessible through the stairs, is a corridor that tears the building and it is intentionally oversized in order to be used as a leisure space or a more intimate working place, as a way of solving the excessive collectivization of the ground floor and for not wanting to build a space specifically for that.