In the summer of 2002 our clients, a young couple with two children, decided to build a house.
The place which they have chosen occupies a great land extension located at the bottom of Foz estuary (north coast of Galicia, Spain), surrounded by thick forests of pines and eucalyptus that it is necessary to cross to arrive going down slightly to the edge of the estuary, leaving the sun of the late afternoon at the back: a changing place according to the state of the tides that will condition our proposal from the beginning. 

In the first meetings, they explained what makes them leave the city and settle in the field (this will become their habitual house), about their necessities of space and landscape. They surprised us with a particular interest in the flat roofs and the metallic materials applied to facades.
As for the program, they do not ask for different spaces from the habitual ones. In general, the required sizes for them overcome our initial proposals, with the intention that the new house becomes a meeting place and even eventual stay for the relatives settled in the surroundings.

From the beginning, we looked intentionally for a unique piece, elementary, full of the essence of reflected variable and natural surroundings in the material of its facades; a “ house-bridge lightened “ on the ground floor (parallel and very next to the coastline – 100m from the coastline in the moment of the application of license) that allows multiplying the views from the interior without losing the compact exterior appearance, extended and narrows (the lateral facades change the metal by the slate, and disappear, reducing the thickness apparently), which we cross between the two legs on which the volume of the first plant leans, framing the landscape to the time that organizes the arrival (covered parking) and the access to the house, becoming the only hollow that communicates both metallic facades and that simultaneously frees the main house from the guest’s zone. The wooden pavement in this point (platform of North Pine) extends towards the estuary surrounding the swimming pool and a zone of seeded grass of 6x6m, creating a “domesticated nature” that will work in an independent way to the rest of the enormous parcel in which the native vegetation will grow freely.

The empty vertical interior and exterior places that are not shown in the facade organize and illuminate the spaces that by use must be closed and that at the same time are alternated in a longitudinal sequence that defines the circulations. We create a space-tube in which the routes contribute indecision and at the time using a conventional program, introducing the flexibility as an experience related to the perceptive ambiguity of each inhabitant or visitor of the house: each one will make their different way to end up using it just as we had not thought. It is indeed this uncontrollable last indefinition (although in some cases forceable) the one that motivates and is present in all our projects, the one that allows us to resign to a platonic end for our buildings replaced by the intensity of a long process that needs the active participation of people who finally use them to be able to be analyzed. Only in this way does our work become evident.

Parallelly, and taking advantage of the clients’ relationship with the furniture industry, we have developed some designs adapted to specific zones of the house (hall, dining room, bedrooms, accesses) of which parts are in the manufacturing process. This voluntary irruption in the furnishing inevitably makes us choose the rest of the pieces, a process in which we have been actively involved.

Marcos Parga_PO2 Arquitectos / Year: 2005 / Location: Foz, Spain / Program: Housing / Type: Comission / Status: Built / Client: Private / Size: 380m2 / Photos: Angel Baltanas