Arquitectura Viva
Monday, March 27, 2017

Aires Mateus, House in Melides (Portugal)


The domestic projects of Manuel and Francisco Aires Mateus are characterized by an unyielding faith in geometry, and express themselves in the form of abstract and exquisite volumes that establish a relationship through contrast with the landscape, usually the impressive open fields of Portugal’s Mediterranean countryside. With a total area of barely over 200 square meters, the House in Melide II remains within these parameters, though in this case the geometric footprint is somewhat diluted, because the different elements of the project are fragmented and scattered to reduce the visual impact of the whole and to create unique and unexpected connections with the existing trees, views, and the distant sea horizon.

The main volume accommodates the communal parts of the program – kitchen, living room, and master suite – organized around a courtyard in a swastika shape. Three smaller and identical houses sit by the sides of the main house, placed asymmetrically and adjusting naturally to the contour lines of the site. Each house contains one bedroom, and their section and the materials chosen to build them together evoke the idea of a primitive hut. Constructed with gray concrete walls and lined with warm wooden panels, the houses do not open up directly to the landscape, but to two courtyards of different sizes that are located at the ends. These courtyards frame the views of the surroundings and are protected by a delicate cane covering.

AV Monografías 193_194 - ESPAÑA 2017 AV Monographs
analyzes in each issue a theme related to a city, a country, a tendency or an architect, with articles by leading specialists complemented by commentary on works and projects illustrated in detail. Published bilingually, with Spanish and English texts placed side by side.
Arquitectura Viva 193 - SOUNDSCAPES Arquitectura Viva
covers current topics, taking stock of recent trends in set sections: cover story, works and projects, art and culture, books, technique and innovation. From 2013 on, monthly and bilingual, with Spanish and English texts printed side by side.
AV Proyectos 78 - AIRES MATEUS AV Proyectos
is the third member of the AV family: a bilingual publication essentially focussed on design projects (with special attention on competitions and construction details), heretofore only laterally dealt with in the other two magazines.
Editorial Arquitectura Viva SL - Calle de Aniceto Marinas, 32 - E-28008 Madrid, España - Ph: (+34) 915 487 317 - Fax: (+34) 915 488 191 - - Latest News in RSS