Costa Nova Home

02 / 04 / 2018
A project by RVDM.  
Ricardo Vieira de Melo stamps his spaces with an elegance that is contemporary and timeless. When drawing houses, he cares to become acquainted with the family dynamics, because “being the extension of an individual, it is always, simultaneously, concluded and incomplete”. We had a conversation with the responsible of the architectural studio RVDM, who revealed more about one of his latest projects, Costa Nova Home, that prioritise the constant harmony with the surroundings.

Did the sea, the dunes and the natural surroundings inspire the creation of this home?
The surroundings determine many options in any project. The seafront exposure and the limited size of this plot, led to need for the compartments of the home to face outwards on one side only. The dimensions of the west-facing openings to be restrained so as to ensure comfort in both the living room and the bedrooms and the ‘large window’ in the living room was designed to guarantee safety and design.

Were the limitations of the space a challenge? 
The restricted plot meant we couldn’t waste space with circulation areas within the home. The only thing that disrupts each floor is the staircase and as one goes higher not only are circulation spaces reduced, they are actually integrated into the rooms themselves. This enabled us to design a house with four suites and a large living room. When the client’s friends visited the home for the first time they were astonished by how the spaces had been amplified within those limits.

Regarding the client, what elements in the home express his own tastes and interests?
Naturally, the client wanted to enjoy the home’s location in front of the sea. By having the living room on the top floor, a more spacious and uninterrupted view over the landscape was achieved, not to mention the creation of the south-facing terrace, sheltered from northerly winds. These two spaces, living room and terrace are the hallmarks of the home and they not only met, but surpassed the client’s expectations for the plot.
Do you consider there to be an element that is absolutely essential to all your projects?
To design a house is to delve into the intimacy of a family, an individual or a place. The challenge is to understand the client’s worries and wishes as well as the possibilities that the location offers. As a result, it is the mediation between countless variables and their harmonisation. Achieving this balance is crucial.

What is the main challenge in private projects?
Homes always involve a challenge in the sense that this is a typology that is never quite solved. Being the extension of an individual, it is always, simultaneously, concluded and incomplete from our perspective. A home is a register of mentalities, the perception of time, social change and geographical conditioning, all of which determine their spatial definition. Homes involve sensibility to the material and mental sense of place, sensibility to real and imaginary time and, as a result, it is a strong cultural receptacle.

Can you reveal any future projects?
The urban regeneration projects in Figueria da Foz and Oliveira de Frades, because they are on a large scale and present new challenges.