Casa Sobre el Minho @ Galicia

quico jorreto: house on the minho river, spain

local architect quico jorreto sought to take full advantage of the southern-facing slope for natural light and to frame the opportune views with a
reinforced concrete dwelling partially embedded and concealed into the terrain. divided into three parts, the house is made up of a carport that
can be used as an exterior patio, a glass enclosed box whose purpose exists for the observation of the river below and acts as a pivot point for the
perpendicularly converging wings, and the enclosed volumes containing services and residential program. the primary semi-buried volume contains
a pool that stretches the over the entire roof plane and reflects the surrounding nature, a foreshadowing to the natural water feature beyond.
a metal mesh walkway alongside the pool’s edge conceals a courtyard below that ensures plenty of illumination to all parts of the hidden private
areas of the home, along with access to ventilation. the central living room and kitchen enjoy a panoramic window facing south while two cores
containing the bathrooms separate this social area from the private bedrooms and small office situated at either end of the structure.


standing on the metal grate walkway over the concealed courtyard


in the words of the architect:


a cave, an eye looks to the river, looking for the sun and a buried patio emitting light, ventilation and protection.
the eye is big enough to heat in the winter and enjoy the landscape, small enough to close and protect the cave.

a transitional space of access to the cave, a place of contemplation and meditation; water, air, earth and fire.
inside the cave two service blocks separate the space for life and sun from the private areas of repose protected by the patio.



the ‘eye’, a panoramic window key to the negotiation of view and sunlight



exterior slab creates a patio space with integrated fire pit



southern elevation



reflecting pool and metal grate floor over an exterior courtyard



central social space





kitchen with views to the river



small study nook



(left) living room with exposed concrete wall
(right) study



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