Excerpt: House Marinha-Grande is a residence designed by Contaminar Arquitectos that exists between the pine forest of Leiria and the small town of Amieira, with some isolated and disordered houses. I see amidst the green vegetation, at the bottom of the plot, a place, which has an industrial image, but at the same time conveys the comfort, scale and image of a contemporary dwelling. A large and voluminous metallic canopy, black and dynamic, draws the contours of the house and rests on a glass box that makes it levitate.
[Text as submitted by Architect] I get in the car, turn the keys, listen to the engine’s noisy symphony, and hit the road to reach my house in Amieira, next to Marinha Grande, the land of glass and the mould industry in Portugal.
After passing through the small family industries, it arrived at the desired address. Between the pine forest of Leiria and the small town of Amieira, with some isolated and disordered houses, I see amidst the green vegetation, at the bottom of the plot, the place, which has an industrial image, which refers to the industrial pavilions in Marinha Grande, but at the same time conveys the comfort, scale and image of a contemporary dwelling. A large and voluminous metallic canopy, black and dynamic, draws the contours of the house and rests on a glass box that makes it levitate.
The zigzag path from the entrance to the house is a walk through my garden, an alley with two paths, one for the car and another pedestrian that branches with other paths through the garden.
As I approach, I discover the outdoor pool that forms a mirror and a scenographic image in front of the house. I also dazzle a small volume hidden by the plants, the garage, but I continue my way on wheels through the garden that leads me to the main building.
Upon reaching the end of the route, I am greeted by a large porch where I park the car. In the centre of my canopy, there’s a welcome patio, the centre of the house, which perforates the sizeable black square covering the house, organizes the “U” shape of the house, and separates the social area from the intimate area. The concrete exterior walls contrast with the transparency of the glass and protect the most private spaces.
The patio light gets me to the wooden front door. Upon entering, I feel that there are no boundaries between the outside and the inside. The surrounding greenery and the courtyard garden invade the interior of the home. The industrial look disappears, and I feel the comfort of my house.
I leave my coat and car key in the entry hall, on the central piece of furniture, which separates the living room from the access to the office and a small bathroom to support the social area. On the opposite side is the kitchen that extends my gaze over the garden.
I follow the corridor that joins the social area to the rooms and goes around the central patio, maintaining visual contact with my car that rests under the roof. I pass the laundry room without realizing it.
As I enter the corridor of the private volume, where the rooms are located, I am surprised by the light coming from the back of the corridor. The light and the green of the garden again destroy the boundaries between outside and inside when I enter the room from the patio and enter each of the other rooms. A big green rug dominates them all.
Upon entering my room, I go to the closet and bathroom to make myself as comfortable as possible. Later, when my head hits the pillow, I realize that life is like a road. My body is the car travelling along with it. My house is the service station that fuels me and provides me with the energy I need for the next few kilometres.