Dodged House

Designed by: Daniel Zamarbide (BUREAU) with Leopold Banchini Architects
For client: Daniel Zamarbide Floor area: 94.00 M² Year of completion: 2019
Submitted for: House of the Year

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About the Project

The crisis that hit Portugal ten years ago has produced an incredible density of abandoned spaces. The two main cities, Porto and Lisbon, offered a landscape of ruins and closed buildings that charmed an international community looking for a southern romanticism. This landscape was featured by numerous opaque facades, hiding the interiors as if the life of those buildings had disappeared or was in a frozen state, waiting for better times to open the windows again and let the sunshine in. Streets with no windows, faces without eyes.

As a trace of the time in which the Dodged house was designed and built, it has preferred to keep its eyes closed and its opaque façade and has bet on a less marketable feature, space, void and interior volume. Within a rather small plot the Dodged house has privileged a strong section and a contemplative void, proposing a diversity of interior-exterior spaces that extend into a courtyard. Evidently, the project responds as well to a complexity of functional requirements that has turned the house into a machine à habiter, playing again, quite deliberately and strongly with the history of modernism and its inhabitable typologies.

What’s unique about it

As an individual House, I believe that the Dodged house proposes some interesting typological ideas for a quite small plan. But mainly, it’s a beton space. Or rather, a battle between squared meters and space. All plans, rooms, are quite small in square meters but generous in space. They have the capability to project themselves and therefore the inhabitants as well. There is a constant and complex intertwine between interior and exterior.

These typological ideas are probably well suited for dense urban fabrics like Lisbon where for centuries people have lived like that, in dense fabric, yet low in height. The quality of the space owes also to the traditional courtyard configuration, which once again projects the interior to the exterior. Lisbon is being heavily renovated. But I think there are very few discussions or proposals on how to question traditional typologies. And this project offers this possibility. If the Dodged House is mentioned here contiguous to the idea of Le Corbusier's «machine à habiter» is also because the Dodged House borrows from modernism the idea of typological invention. It is definitely not a modernist or Neo-modernist project, and this is clear when one sees how the facades react to the context. It is a project where nothing has been thought out from a typical bird-eye attitude. It is a story of interiority and city fabric.

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Location of project:
Daniel Zamarbide (BUREAU)

Leopold Banchini Architects

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