A compact, energy efficient house in the beach resort of Espinho, Portugal, built on an 80 square meter infill lot, has 277 “useful” square meters inside thanks to half-floors. ‘House Halffloors’ has three bedrooms, a dining room, living room, office, three exterior areas (including a rooftop swimming pool) and a two car garage with car lift.
Organized in a vertical and hierarchical way, the social areas are on the inferior floors and the private areas on the superior levels. “To achieve great visual amplitudes and dynamic interconnections between spaces, the interior was structured in half-floors.” says the owner. “The width of the plot decided the stair. In fact, it became the heart of the house.”
“Positioned adjacent to those spaces is a courtyard that together with the half-floor structure induces a vertical continuity, create a gentle horizontal connection. The courtyard affords a sense of depth and expansion to the spaces, allowing for all the floors from the basement to the first to be experienced as one space connected vertically and horizontally.”
“It was our objective to create a house as a unique object, so in order to do so exterior windows and doors had to align with the exterior house walls! Our idea was, ‘if in any way I could pass a hand over the front and back facade it should be only and element, without any recesses’.”
Architecture: Sousa e Lopes – Gabinete de Arquitectura e Urbanismo, Lda.
Terrain area: 80 m2
Construction area: 277 m2