Casa de Ofir

Casa de Ofir

Architect
José Fernando Gonçalves – JFCG
Location
Ofir, Portugal
Project Year
2003
Category
Private Houses
Alessandra Chemollo, José Fernando Gonçalves

Casa de Ofir

José Fernando Gonçalves – JFCG as Architects

The house’s situation plan results not only from the location imposed by the sketch of the plot-division, but also from the topography, based on a secondary dune behind the seashore. With the objective of maintaining the morphological characteristics of the surroundings, that reveal a strict relation with the beach, the house is composed by two levels that separate progressively the diurnal and the nocturnal zones. At the exterior, a stony path laid down on the sand and over the construction follows the original relief of the place revealing the presence of water. The slope at the East side is turned into an embankment by the supporting wall which withholds the sand. This wall hides the bedroom level, burying it. On the top, an oblique plane opens towards the sea (east-west), highlighting the character of a construction emerging from the sand – where living room and kitchen are established. While bedrooms are small and punctually illuminated, forcing its relation with the exterior through thick walls, on the upper level the space is strongly illuminated by large glass surfaces, reinforcing the relationship with the surroundings by a broad visibility. Night and day or intimacy and sociability result in the theme that formally characterizes the design of the different spaces – density and lightness.


The construction options derive not only from these ideas but also from the seasonal character proposed for the usage of this house: a dense and enclosed construction at the ground floor suggested the usage of schist for the supporting wall. Once the surroundings are entirely made of sand, pavements, walls and ceilings form a uniform concrete box that uses its texture, colour and finishing details towards its benefit. As a contact element with the human body, the wood of pavements, cupboards and wall panels tries to give a sense of comfort and adequate scale for the different usages – serving as a unifier element. In the same sense, the framework is carried out in wood in the mobile sections and in steel in the fixed sections – between the visibility of the usage and the invisibility of the inactive support.

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