Don Esteban House


2003 - 2006


Spain, Veger de La Frontera, Cádiz




From Europe One sees Africa.

The land is located in a swathe of protected areas, but the existing buildings and the access permitted the undertaking of the project. At the start it was a house and some space to receive friends. The need to contain and level the sandy land led to building of three units that, although independent, form a whole. After the demolition of the existing buildings consisting of a do-it-yourself construction of poor quality, a new program was implanted on the land and landscape. There was something that resembled a swimming pool, slanted, distorted, unleveled, which the water had destroyed. It had been excavated bit by bit, to a level of sand where only certain plants could survive. It was necessary to do containment work so as to lose the tank, which was recoverable and adaptable. Two small contention houses appear so that the landscape is constant, always there. From the contention, levels the terraces and firm paths are made. The main residence is two-storey building, The ground floor accommodates the common spaces, the technical areas and a room for visitors an d friends. The terrace, to the south-west over the other constructions, was created to enable privacy. The terrace to the north-west offers protection from the often unforgiving winds. On the upper floor a room and an office for professional writings, benefiting from the view over River Barbate delta, which extends beyond  Trafalgar, to Tangiers, Africa, The other two constructions, embedded in the sand, have a front and a central living room space, a kitchen flanked by two rooms and respective wc’s. Shaded terraces but also which extend from the interior to the outdoors, for lounging. Stone walls, as is traditional wooden roofs and frames for yesteryear. A simple project, a complex project owing the recovery of forgotten values, or interpretation of the variants of the location, the environment and the climate. A different pseudo Andalusian project, which is usually undertaken with pseudo tradition, at first causing consternation, and little by little winning acceptance. In a narrow space of transition between the hill of soft lush pine trees, to the Orange tree grove stolen from the marshes, the Casas Don Esteban are places to relax and contemplate, and also to do some work, which lend to us views of another continent, so near yet so different.

Carlos Castanheira

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Carlos Castanheira

Office in Portugal:

CC&CB – Architects, Lda.

Project Team:

Isabel Carvalho

Orlando Sousa

Demis Lopes

Ricardo Serra

Dalila Gomes

Francisco Zamith (3D)



Construction and Engineering Projects, Lda.

Paulo Fidalgo


Henriques & Rodrigues , Ldª

General Contractor:

CASAVI- Construcciones, veger de La Frontera