European Enterprise Awards 2021

44 EU BUSINESS NEWS / European Enterprise Awards 2021 , Nov21504 Best Architectural Design Firm - Portugal Contaminar Architects is amulti-disciplinary design practice whichwas founded in Leiria in 2004 when two architects, Joel Esperança and Ruben Vaz took the architecture world by storm. They are joined by product and interior designer, Romeu Sousa, and as a team they each bring their own specialist talents to creatively respond to the challenges each project brings, while constantly exploring the numerous possibilities of contemporary living. Contaminar Architects is a firm that crafts beautiful, bright spaces, a key feature being the utilising of daylight wherever possible to create homes that bring joy to those who live in them. Each building designed by Contaminar Architects adds a certain beauty to the landscape they stand in, thanks to their quirky shapes and stunningly modern aesthetic. Vidigal House, designed by Contaminar Architects, is a single-family home surrounded by greenery near the city of Leiria in Portugal. The building’s location in a triangular lot influenced its construction, with the base made up of two volumes intersecting at a narrow angle. At the point where the two volumes intersect, the architects placed stairs to link the different levels in the home. The larger volume of the property has different levels which include an underground garage and cellar, a living room on the ground floor, and a loft on the first floor. The smaller volume looks like a little white box raised above the ground and sits on a block of dark concrete. This is the private part of the home where the bedrooms are. The dark ground floor volume is the location of the kitchen, overlooking a covered outdoor area created by the overhang of the upper level. At the heart of the building is the living area, a sitting room with big floor-to- ceiling windows overlooking the landscape, a delightful space flooded with daylight. Another project by Contaminar Architects is the primary school it designed, for which it used a unique material palette of timber and cork. The project began with the vision of a treehouse, or ‘casa da árvore’, focused on the concept of being in touch with nature and discovery, and allowing stimulation of learning. The classrooms were designed to connect to the outdoors, with patios and porches allowing children to fully use the space. The choice of materials aligned with the concept of the project – The use of earthy colour tones and natural cork as a cladding material further connects the building to nature. This is in addition to the concrete along the walls being treated in a particular way so it almost alluded to the roots of trees, reinforcing the imagery of the casa da árvore. Indeed, Contaminar Architects understands the assignment each and every time, with the designing of truly beautiful, functional buildings that enhance the happiness and health of the people who use and surround them, while also having an eco-friendly focus, with each property becoming one with nature. Company: Contaminar Architects Contact: Joel Esperança Email: [email protected] Website: