Lisbon-based firm aires Mateus has completed an almost invisible house in close proximity to the alqueva lake in southern Portugal. Secrets From Portugal brings you ‘house in monsaraz’, which was completed for a private client, is topped with a green roof that appears as an extension of the surrounding landscape. the property measures just 174 square meters, unobtrusively occupying its 21,100 square meters site.
Faced with the boundless extents of the Alqueva lake, the house requires a centre: a protected courtyard embracing the water.
Aires Mateus began working on the project in 2007, with construction completing in 2018. Faced with the ‘boundless extents’ of the alqueva lake, the design team asserted that the dwelling required a ‘centre’ — in this case, a protected courtyard embracing the water. Described as the ‘life centre’ of the house, a domed space unites the home’s social areas. ‘an inverted dome intersects it and creates an opening that lights the space, shaping its precise geometry and limits,’ continue the architects.
Residents and their visitors enter the building by descending a stairwell that leads into the heart of the home. The kitchen and living areas are directly connected to the protected courtyard, while three bedrooms open onto circular patios. Painted in radiant white, these patios — which also function as lightwells — are the building’s sole visible elements when viewed from above.
Amid a wide natural landscape, the scale of the house is that of the patios and superior dome. They are the sole visible elements, painted in radiant white.
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