Casa NM by Zegnea Grupo

Casa NM is a modern house located in Guimarães, Portugal, designed in 2022 by Zegnea Grupo.

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Starting from a series of constraints imposed by the terrain and its surroundings, we projected a residence building with two floors, hosted on a platform that lands on the natural terrain. We have opted to bring closer the built volume to the west limit of the terrain, in a way of minimizing land movements, freeing terrain for a yard and a garden.

Given the strong street inclination, the house roofs contiguous to the terrain find themselves at quite different heights. So, to avoid a big confrontation between the buildings’ heights on the street facade, we chose to bring those heights closer, aligning the roof edges to the lines of the adjacent buildings, resulting in an inclined roof, that follows the street inclination.

The presented volume is the result of a deconstruction and dematerialization form of the ‘box’ – a pure volume where ‘parts’ were taken out. These negatives, associated with the interior program, have resulted in spaces like porches, patios, roofs and balconies that ensure a higher lightness to the construction.

Thought through a simple spatial plan, we start from a central element of the house – the living room – in which we add full and empty spaces. The full spaces, considered private cores of the house, are bedrooms, kitchen and storage room; and the empty spaces, the patios. This distribution translates into a very fluid organization of spaces, promoting the communication between the different areas, interleaving the indoor and outdoor spaces, so that they can join and extend themselves.

This way, we obtain, from the living room, an almost direct relationship with the kitchen, the office, and the bedrooms core, as well as with the whole exterior garden. From the nucleus of the bedrooms, we still have access to the upper level, through a staircase parallel to the bedrooms, that drives us directly to the gym. Still on this floor, the facade drawing allowed the creation of a more private terrace, which allowed us to maintain a direct relationship with the exterior.

The materiality of the house, as well as the use of neutral tones, helped us to emphasize the lightness of its drawing and its volumetry, establishing a relationship of harmony between all parts.

Photography courtesy of Zegnea Grupo

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- by Matt Watts