Manuel Aires Mateus, ’15 BigMat Award member of the jury and one of the two founders of Aires Mateus Arquitectos, teamed up with Ana Cravino and Inês Cordovil of fellow Lisbon office SIA Arquitectura to design House in Fontinha for a site outside the rural town of Melides.
It is a monochromatic house, situated in a countryside environment, little urbanised, that stands out of the surroundings for being situated on a kind of slope and for the light reflection on its white walls.
Built around a central terrace looking out towards the Atlantic, the house includes three bedrooms, a kitchen with adjoined living room area, and a swimming pool, while an additional living room and two storage areas occupy the lower floor. The house was designed as one seamless space, with the central terrace functioning as a common area out to which all rooms have an opening – another feature that is typical of traditional Mediterranean houses. In a contemporary twist characteristic of the work of Aires Mateus, the building’s four main volumes are trapezoidal in shape which subtly distorts their proportion, making them look bigger and longer than they actually are.
Manuel Aires Mateus architects stated, “The house is designed in the balance between a courtyard house, with a protected core relating to the sky, and an opening to the distant ocean view,” and added “The topography is modelled, to protect it from the access road, and release the view.”
The most characteristic action on the design is the sliced off corner creating a partial arch on the lower level of the building and accommodates an access to a living room. This curved shape has its echo in a minimal white interior of the house, the arched ceiling that stretches across the stairwell.
The house contains three bedrooms, all located on the upper floor. The two smaller rooms sit bedside one another at the back, while the master bedroom is positioned beside the swimming pool and features its own marble-lined shower area. The kitchen is also on this floor and features a worktop with a skylight overhead, as well as a triangular fireplace recessed into a corner.
Short description of the project by Aires Mateus architects:
“On the Grândola crest, the house is designed in the balance between a courtyard house, with a protected core relating to the sky, and an opening to the distant ocean view. The topography is modeled, to protect it from the access road, and release the view. The perimeter delineates the internal lodgings and its transitions. High volumetric spaces, occupied by elements that define functions and atmospheres.”
Arquitectos: Manuel Aires Mateus, SIA arquitectura
Ubicación: Melides, Portugal
Arquitectura: Manuel Aires Mateus + SIA arquitectura
Colaboradores: Ana Rita Martins
Área: 208.0 m2
Fotografías: Fernando Guerra | FG+SG
Engineering: Betar | Promee | Campo d´água
Contractor: Mateus Frazão
News source: Archdaily