Two houses in Monção (2013) by João Paulo Loureiro

Two houses in Monção (2013) by João Paulo Loureiro located in Monção, Portugal | The Hardt

 

Two houses in Monção (2013) by João Paulo Loureiro located in Monção, Portugal. A plot of land on the densely forested river Minho, a natural border between Portugal and Spain, near the village of Monção.  The order to design two houses, on the same land, for father and son. The son, a well-known builder in the area, who was working on a project for a small 4-apartment building in the urban area of Porto, was then prepared for my next proposal for his new home. So I put the two houses together in one building, it seemed logical to me. In synthesis: A prestressed concrete slab (84 x 16m), a modern gesture to house two houses (in the glass, painted wrought iron and pine wood), supported by new but traditional granite walls.

 


Strong gesture in search of balance with the landscape. In the center, a circle, an ellipse, place for a tree, a sculpture, or just the space that stayed and conquers the place. The constant search for conciliation between modern technologies and the more traditional construction of this region allows the dialectic between the horizontality of the large spans, allowed by the ingenious use of the pretension, taking the reinforced concrete to its limits, and the roughness of the large granite blocks that, juxtaposed, draw great walls in the landscape.

 

 

 


 

The shape and tectonic sense of the building were reconciled to establish a connection with the site, transforming it into an integral part of the landscape, anticipating the future reaction of materials as an active dimension of the project. The building has a base buried in the ground, a garage and an indoor pool that project in a slender volume of reinforced concrete, also prestressed, on the slope, subverting the adopted camouflage. On the top floor, a metal volume totally enclosed in glass with enough mirroring to dilute its mass in the landscape.

 

 

 


 

Everything was designed by the architect, from the iron frames to the furniture in pine and ebony wood, reminding the fittings of the altarpieces of the granite churches, only here in reinforced concrete. Geothermal was adopted as a way to guarantee the energy balance of the building as a whole, achieved by the integration of a whole system of installations buried in the surrounding terrain.
© José Campos

 


 

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