Continuing a series of reviews on recently announced Mies van der Rohe nominees, today we will visit Aires Mateus’ Casa no Tempo, situated in the Alentejo region, barely one hour from Lisbon.
A former farmhouse, located in a vast estate with fields and lakes, the house belongs to João and Andreia Rodrigues, who decided to renovate the old building into a minimalistic four-bedroom home after their grandfather’s will to look after the family’s grounds.
The project aims to give the house a higher meaning, trying to connect the family’s generations through the inhabitation of the beautiful surrounding landscape.
Manuel Aires Mateus has treated the interior spaces and surfaces of the house with his characteristic minimal-white finish in order to create an abstract, timeless space with attention set on detailing and furnishings.
The exterior surface of the house is a clear white wall interrupted only by large windows and an arched doorway, marking the entrance. Inside, the rooms are filled with light, which reflects on the white walls and mirrors.
Despite the abstract configuration of the house, holding four bedrooms and a separate lounge, there is a comfortable, homely feeling throughout thanks to the attention paid to the surface materials and textures. Clay blocks form the flooring, which is heated from underneath during the winter, and provides a soft cooling effect during the summer months thanks to thermal inertia. A small fireplace sets the tone for a cosy reading spot. The kitchen counter is clad in marble, and a large wooden table marks the dining area.
The house opens up to the garden through an unusual, organic-shaped swimming pool. It is in the outside when the sensory experiences encountered in the house come to their fullest.
Manuel Aires Mateus is co-founder of portuguese studio Aires Mateus, and will be part of Big Mat’s International Architecture Award Jury of this 2015 edition of the prize. Please learn more about the award, inscription and other years participants, clicking here.