Portuguese architect Miguel Marcelino has recently completed a single family house in Vila Nova de Santo Estêvão, Benavente, in the centre of Portugal. The plot is located in the middle of a “montado” landscape, being the best views to the north with a lake and the skyline punctuated by cork oak trees.
The house is organized in a compact volume of two floors, complemented by three courtyards all different in size and features. A first large courtyard, enclosed, intimate, situates on the south side, embracing a big existing cork oak. Next to the back entrance there is another smaller patio, for service.
The third courtyard works as a key element in the relationship between home and the north side – it’s a slim space with a large horizontal opening that frames the landscape – it has an atmosphere of a “inner space outdoors”, the light is soft, by reflection on the outer wall that receives direct sunlight. This vertical courtyard communicates with a staircase that leads to an open terrace, the last element of the sequence of spaces, patios and atmospheres that go from more introspective and private to more open and outside.
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