Today, homify 360° takes us all the way to Cascais, Portugal, where architectural firm Empty Space introduce us to a contemporary structure that is the embodiment of modern design. Concrete and steel come together to form a creation that is not only powerful, but also a constant dialogue between form and function.
Listening to the client’s request of creating a structure that will comfortably house two people (one able bodied, the other disabled), the professionals started their planning. The outcome? A sleek design that is not only a sight of beauty, but also a dwelling that illustrates the uniqueness of what can be achieved when inspiration strikes.
Our first glimpse of the Godiva House presents us with a predominantly white exterior. However, this is more than just a fancy modern house. It is a contemporary and sustainable architectural object, with easy living spaces creating a steady connection between the exterior and interior. This gave rise to a modern dwelling designed for anybody, but also perfect for any user with reduced mobility.
With an architectural construction that is a mix between simple geometry, noble materials and artistic form, this is a creation that also takes environmental sustainability into account.
Focusing on environmental sustainability, the Godiva House makes use of thermal insulation on the outside, as well as double glazing with thermal break and UV filters, which prevents heat from escaping and cold from entering.
Facing us head on are the two pristine white rectangular structures, linked by a central grey quadrangle pivot. The simple structure and even grounds were also taken into consideration for residents with limited mobility, while also striving for maximum sustainability. With its abundance of glass glazing, natural light floods into different parts of the house during daylight hours, ensuring a cosy interior.
The architect clearly avoided busy and overly complicated designs, instead going for an approach that is elegant and simple, but by no means straightforward – the oblique design of this structure is just too unique for such a word.
The ground floor was designed to accommodate all the equipment and treatment which a mobile-restricted user would be subjected to on a daily basis (such as hydrotherapy pool, physiotherapy rooms, etc.).
In the backyard, we are treated to the scenery of the surrounding environment and garden, with a warm wooden deck stretching out in front of us, and the cool, calm interiors of the bottom level beckoning behind us. The top terrace protrudes a few feet out over the bottom level, allowing for a cool, sheltered relaxation spot at a certain time of day.
On to the interiors, and it is clean, light, and lovely! A cool shade of brown wall offsets exquisitely between pristine white floor and ceiling, with a sizzling red sofa being the centre of attraction in this space. Faint traces of modern lighting fixtures adorn the walls, while an abundance of natural lighting takes care of visibility during the day.
The house is composed of three segments of different dimensions, with the north segment containing the social spaces, and it is here where we find the main room, dining room and kitchen. Minimum décor allows for adequate moving space, as well as a clean and serene interior finish.
Light and bright continue to guide us on the inside, and natural lighting follows us wherever we go. The staircase decides to take a quick break from the pale palette, and treats us to a caramel brown hue on its steps to the top floor.
Constant natural lighting results in an interesting arrangement of shadow movements throughout the day, especially on the big, blank canvas which forms the interior. This house was intended for dwelling and easy movement, which is why wide open spaces are seen everywhere. Around the corner from the staircase we find the hydrotherapy pool, looking out (through clear glass) onto the stretching garden, which holds its own unique characteristics.
Want to see other examples of modern staircases?
Entering the kitchen, which seemingly has never seen a spilled drop of spot in its life. Crisp whiteness stars at the bottom of the counters, flows upward, and unite on the clean, white ceiling. The dark grey floor tile provides a sturdy foundation for this culinary cleanliness, neatly balancing the collection of pale tones.
Here and there we see spots of dark décor: a stove, a wall clock, power socket, etc. They, along with the small selection of slim metal finishings, insert a slight balance in this clear, white space. Sufficient cupboards, countertop space, and a lovely selection of modern appliances neatly round off the kitchen area.
Take a look at how this space plays off against other modern kitchens.
The dining room, where we find a friendly collection of both cool and warm colours. With the walls very nearly glowing from the natural lighting streaming in through the glass slide door, it enhances the effect of the newly introduced colours even more. Rich yellow, warm red, serene green and tranquil blue all play their parts in this room.
Add a dark grey door, along with grey floor tiles, and you have a splendid vision of yin and yang balanced by a pleasant selection of bright tints.
Dusk settles in, and the house seemingly comes alive. Its white top volumes positively start to glow, while the interior lighting illuminates the clean spaces, décor and furniture on the inside. The exterior spaces of the lawn and garden was designed in the same vein as the house – an area which allows you to either rest or relax, or take long walks, but without a roof over your head. Only, in this case, you have an abundant amount of additional natural lighting for company!
Looking back on the structure now, illuminated from inside, we are reminded of the uniqueness of what started this project. And how, viewing the outcome, we can only describe it as a success, clad in contemporary style and functionality.