Contaminar Arquitectos takes an unorthodox but visually striking approach to keeping the Quinta do Rei 18 home a comfortable temperature. The firm has wrapped the residence in a twisting concrete facade that protects it from the sunshine in Portugal.
Quinta do Rei 18 is located in a hilly area. Its shape and layout are informed by the site’s topography, plus they’re intended to optimize sun exposure and views from its rooftop swimming pool.
“The villa is located in an elevated area with a strong slope in the city of Leiria,” explained Contaminar Arquitectos. “The conditions of the subdivision suggested a volumetry of a tower, a viewpoint over the city. One of our premises was that the social areas were located on the upper floors and the swimming pool on the roof, to enjoy the 360-degree view.
“The house is the transformation of a regular cobblestone with the rotation on an axis that generates a new, more plastic shape, which optimizes the sun exposure and allows areas of balconies, shading, and circulations, from the ground to the roof, being a ladder from earth to heaven.”
Quinta do Rei 18’s interior decor softens its use of exposed concrete with warmer materials like woodFernando Guerra
The facade is made up of 18 horizontal concrete “rings” which enclose the main structure of the home and create opportunities for generous balcony areas, plus an external staircase. Since it’s quite open, it offers shading and a degree of privacy for those inside, while still allowing fresh air to permeate within if they choose to open the windows.
The interior decor helps soften the liberal use of exposed concrete with warmer materials such as wood. It includes a basement level that hosts parking for the owner’s classic Porsche, plus a laundry room and a wine cellar. The bedrooms and some bathrooms are located on the first floor, while the second floor hosts the kitchen, living room and dining room, and another bedroom. The third and uppermost floor is conceived as a leisure area. It contains a home gym, a small library, and access to a multi-level rooftop terrace with the swimming pool.
While we wouldn’t go so far as to call the Quinta do Rei 18 a sustainable home given its use of so much CO2-producing concrete, its shading facade does boost its eco credentials, as do its rooftop solar panels which reduce its draw on the grid.