Portuguese architect Paula Santos has finished a house in Ovar, Portugal. It is an exercise in stretching the limits of a number of self-referential ideas and concepts already contained in other unrealized projects which had never been put in place. It is also — above all — a project which allows for thinking with people about their particular way of inhabiting a dwelling.
The large-scale project, covering 680 square metres, is to be located on unstable, sandy soil, and this allowed the architect to ponder the house as an object which develops in a continuum. The need to design the main programme of the house as a ground floor meant that the divisions between spaces are implemented by variable heights in geometric forms. The arrangement of these spaces and boundaries is organized in respect to their importance and meaning. The most expressive areas such as the swimming pool, the painter's studio, and the body of the entrance from the street acquire more expressive and more elevated forms.
The idea for the object is concrete's tradition of material sculptability: this appears implicitly in the project, as the architects designed the elevations with level and sloping surfaces up to the coverage. The corridor is used to distribute desired functions and large areas, further creating a clipped plan and allowing for a relationship with the surrounding landscape's wooded areas.
Paula Santos: House in Ovar
Client: Laura Malaquias, Carlos Mendonça
Architecture: Paula Santos
Collaboration: Joana Machado, Nuno Silva, Vasco Novais, Ana Renata Pinho
Foundations and structures: AFA Consult, Carlos Quinaz
Electrical installations, safety, communications: AFA Consult, Raul Serafim
Mechanical equipment, heating, gas: AFA Consult, Carlos Almeida
Hydraulic engineering: AFA Consult, Susana Miranda
Landscape architecture: Victor Beiramar Diniz
Construction: Construtora do Loureiro, Lda