Houses in the Sand, Comporta
Aires Mateus 

Houses in the Sand, Comporta

Aires Mateus 

This group of rental houses sits right on the beach in the seaside town of Comporta, in the Alentejo. The project is a response to very specific conditions. The starting point was to turn a group of old fishermen houses into a small hotel that, without relinquishing its vernacular character, would meet today’s comfort requirements.

Its basis was the recovery of the existing volumes: two masonry buildings and two volumes wrapped in a wood enclosure. The four pieces are protected from rain with thatched roofs; a traditional solution in this part of the Portuguese Atlantic Coast, whereby several layers of straw are stabilized with boards held by the light structural framework.

The size of the buildings and their relative position determined their use. In this way, the smaller masonry buildings were renovated and adapted for use as individual rooms, while one of the two wooden volumes is converted into a two-bedroom pavilion and the other is the pavilion for common areas.

The street entrance emerges through the sandy ground, which is used as a base for all the constructions, regardless of their size or finish. This treated material is spread as paving inside the community pavilion, qualifying the domestic conditions with a sense of natural comfort. The textural continuity of a powerful material like sand changes the scale of the interior spaces, making the act of inhabitation a unique poetic experience, fitting for the sort of experience sought for this place... [+]


Casa en Comporta, Grândola, Portugal.


João Rodrigues.


Manuel y Francisco Aires Mateus.


M. Rebelo (coordinación), H. Fonseca.


Álvaro Manso (paisajismo); Copreng (instalaciones).


Nelson Garrido.