Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Tomar Hill House in Portugal by Contaminar Arquitectos
November 11th, 2014 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Contaminar Arquitectos
In-between the mountain landscape, we can discover the Tomar Hill House, designed by Contaminar Arquitectos. From the slope it is possible to contemplate the Castelo de Bode dam and all the magnificent surrounding landscape. A vast landscape marked by the tones of earth and pinewood.
The Tomar Hill House is designed as a holiday’s accommodation for two brothers. It feels as it comes out from the land, merging with it, through the chromatic palette chosen, where the same tones were worked. The North elevation, more discreet, is half-buried. The other elevations are not buried but follow the terrain’s morphology. At South and West, the house opens to the landscape. A system of shutters controls the aperture, contemplating the surroundings or closing it. Made out of metal sheet, the same material that clad the walls where the windows are inserted, when closed they give the house the appearance of an impenetrable black massive.
The main entrance door, a discrete element diluted in the North façade, is cladded with stoneware tiles, the same material used on the outside of the house, making it difficult to recognize.
The interior space is organized along two wings, for each familiar nucleus, around a central area that is common to the two families. It is from this space with more social characteristics – where the entry, kitchen and living room are – that the house develops, in the form of a stylized S. The living room and the kitchen are one unique space, marking the family reunion. The kitchen is “stowed” inside the walls and the only part standing out is the large worktop and dining table in the centre. Here, it is possible to contemplate the green surroundings through a large opening in the wall. The facing porch also allows the extension of the room’s interior space to the outside, without losing its privacy, to enjoy the quiet and the sun of the Summer’s long afternoons.
This common space has a linear path on the North, allowing access to the house’s more intimate areas. In the East side, closer to the kitchen, a small ramp directs for two rooms and a toilet. In the West side, closer to the living room, a similar program is developed for the other brother’s family.
CONTAMINAR ARQUITECTOS is an office founded in 2005 in Leiria – Portugal, by the architects Joel Esperança and Ruben Vaz, together with product and interiors designer Romeu Sousa. The team is multidisciplinary and the developed projects cover diverse scales. A significant part of their studio’s work explores the numerous possibilities of contemporary dwelling, single family or collective, presenting different projects built in this field.
Joel Esperança (b. 1980, Leiria) graduated in architecture from the Escola Universitária das Artes de Coimbra (ARCA-EUAC). Between 2003 and 2004 he collaborated with arch. Joaquim Duarte, and between 2004 and 2005 with the Architecture Department of ARCA-EUAC. In 2005 he founded the studio Contaminar Arquitectos with Ruben Vaz and Romeu Sousa. Currently, he is a doctoral student in architecture at Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura da Universidad de Sevilla in Spain, developing research under the theme of the importance of the architectural heritage in the UNESCO’s creative cities Network, and their relationship with tourism.
Ruben Vaz (b. 1980, Coimbra) graduated in architecture from the Escola Universitária das Artes de Coimbra (ARCA-EUAC). Between 2003 and 2004 he collaborated with arch. José Bento, at Figueira da Foz. In 2005 he founded the studio Contaminar Arquitectos with Joel Esperança and Romeu Sousa. During 2013 he concluded his MA in Architecture at ARCA-EUAC and is, currently, doctoral student in architecture at Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura da Universidad de Sevilla in Spain.
Romeu Sousa (b. 1975, Leiria) graduated in product design from the Escola Universitária das Artes de Coimbra (ARCA-EUAC / 2004) and post-graduated in Building and Environment Energy Efficiency from Universidade Lusíada de Lisboa (2006). Romeu Sousa initiated his professional activity in 1996 at GECO, injection mould factory; as a designer he collaborated with arch. Pedro Mendonça (2001); with the studio Diagonal as product and landscape designer (2002); with Hipotenusa (2003) and with Futi (2004-06) as product design manager. In 2005 he founded the studio Contaminar Arquitectos with Joel Esperança and Ruben Vaz.
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