Arquitectura Viva
Wednesday, November 14, 2018
06/07/2018

Álvaro Siza, Capela do Monte in Lagos (Portugal)

 
En 2016, Álvaro Siza Vieira was commissioned to build a Christian chapel in Barão de São João (Lagos), his first completed work in southern Portugal’s Algarve region. The small oratory is respectfully inserted into the landscape through its materials and proportions. It stands on the highest level of the Monte da Charneca tourist enclave, the masterplan for which benefited from the advice of the Portuguese master, and it is to open in 2021. This private initiative was the idea of a Swiss-American couple that has lived in the area since the mid-1980s, and it presents seven traditional houses that have been carefully restored by a local architect. These dwellings are the heart of an abandoned farming village that is being revitalized to be energy self-sufficient and welcoming to future inhabitants.

Containing 65 square meters and rising 6.7 meters at most, the single-level construction has been built with brick, limestone, and ceramic pieces. These materials and natural ventilation keep the house cool in summer and warm in winter. Siza has also designed the wooden furniture and the abstract reinterpretaion of the traditional cross, and done the mural drawings on tiles with depictions of scenes of the life of Christ.
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