The children’s tales were a place of digressions, deductions and long discussions capable of making such incredible places and stories even more real. These places then became the common homeland for a childhood that very seriously considered the possibility of exchanging the myopic architectures and cities. Exchange places that adults continually insist on inhabiting, for other places and other houses where the child—dreaming of being a man—imagined a better place and also a better life. Those dreams and fantasies, some of them forgotten in far-away books, today dwell in real architectures that were conceived to give habitation to that other dreamed-of life. We will re-read two houses: a house in Oporto that gives dwelling to the cinema of Oliveira and a house in Madrid to give dwelling to the music of a literature professor. Both houses, following that well-read tale, became ‘magic houses’, whose domestic dwelling is capable of discovering in us that incredible country and that impossible history. They will also discover the child in each of us, which is the real inhabitant of our dreamed-of childhood homelands.
Obviously, I do not believe that the designers of these houses would have thought about these stories and tales when they imagined these houses. But I do believe that as children they read, heard, dreamed and dwelt among those pages and images that today we bring back to mind. All grown-ups were children once, writes Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, although few of them remember it.