Casa das Histórias Paula Rego
by Eduardo Souto de Moura


Casa das Histórias Paula Rego by Eduardo Souto de Moura

Architectural photographer Francisco Nogueira has sent us his photographs of Casa das Histórias Paula Rego in Cascais, Portugal, the latest building to be completed by 2011 Pritzker Prize Laureate Eduardo Souto de Moura.

Casa das Histórias Paula Rego by Eduardo Souto de Moura

Designed to exhibit paintings, drawings and etchings by artist Paula Rego, the red concrete museum has four wings and two pyramid-like chimneys.

Casa das Histórias Paula Rego by Eduardo Souto de Moura

The interior is painted white with flooring made from local marble.

Casa das Histórias Paula Rego by Eduardo Souto de Moura

Besides the galleries the building houses a shop, cafe and 200-seat auditorium.

Casa das Histórias Paula Rego by Eduardo Souto de Moura

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Casa das Histórias Paula Rego by Eduardo Souto de Moura

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Casa das Histórias Paula Rego by Eduardo Souto de Moura

The information below is from the Casa das Histórias Paula Rego:

The Casa das Histórias Paula Rego was designed by the architect Eduardo Souto de Moura. The building makes use of certain aspects of the region's historical architecture, which is here reinterpreted in a contemporary way. It can be immediately recognised thanks to its two pyramid-shaped towers and the red-coloured concrete used in its construction.

The land and trees which previously existed at the site are incorporated as fundamental elements, while four wings, of varying heights and sizes, make up the building. The building itself is subdivided into rooms which lead into one another and are laid out around the higher central room which houses the temporary exhibition. The building's interior has 750m2 of exhibition space, on top of the technical and service areas, and is decorated in neutral shades and paved with the blue-grey marble of Cascais. The building also houses a shop, a café which opens onto a verdant garden and an auditorium with 200 seats.

The building's design is fully in keeping with the artist's wishes, and it was Paul Rego herself who was responsible for the choice of architect. It meets all the requirements for a museum and its various functions, without forgetting the need to give visitors a warm welcome.

With the Casa das Histórias, it can be said that Eduardo Souto de Moura has adopted an almost 'regionalist' approach, distancing himself from the modern abstractionism that has been a dominant feature of his work. It is, however, an uncritical regionalism, that avoids the sense of 'resistante' which lay behind other attempts at the approach in Portugal in the 1980s. In this museum created for Cascais, Souto de Moura associates certain formal devices with a legacy of architectural composition, adopting specific formulas for the building's insertion in the surrounding area as well as a use of scale which can be easily contextualised in a very specific type of geography. Its close proximity to the work of Raul Lino is therefore set in a "Southern" landscape, without resorting to any unnecessary decorative or picturesque frills."

"With this museum, Souto de Moura develops a form of "modern-day architecture" without, in fact, repeating any of the "old models" - in keeping with the ideas defended by Aldo Rossi in his scientific autobiography - evoking timeless archetypes from urban iconography: towers, lighthouses, silos and chimneys, like the ones that define the profile of the Palácio de Sintra. It is therefore not surprising, if one continues the "analogy", that, when describing this museum, Souto de Moura also mentioned the pronounced roofs of Raul Lino's palaces, or the idea of an "inhabited chimney", evoking that of the kitchen in the monastery of Alcobaça. In fact, in its best interpretation, the Casa das Histórias can be seen as a "historicist" project, a condition that will certainly surprise Souto de Moura's most faithful followers and confound his harshest critics."

See also:


Key projects by Eduardo
Souto de Moura
More about
the prize
More Portuguese

Posted on Tuesday March 29th 2011 at 10:01 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • i'd love to know whats below those pyramids inside. the pictures show a normal flat ceiling

  • Milan

    Architecture filmmaker Vítor Gabriel make incredible video of the Casa das Histórias, Paula Rego Museum….

  • Portuguese Architecture Rocks! Well deserved..

  • yuc

    I dont know what it is intended to mean in the text with the words "uncritical regionalism"; I doubt if that is a valid terminology.

    I believe this beautiful building with its awareness of spirit of the place is very much in line with the critical regionalism, just like the works of many other Prizker Laureats.

  • fivedollarshake

    He gave a lecture at my university 3 weeks ago..I particularly enjoyed seeing a quick sketch he made (for this museum) done on a restaurant menu card :)

  • felix

    what a waste of concrete just to achieve the lighting of gallery spaces underneath. could there not have been just a slight reference to the 'pyramids' when you're inside? it's all lovely, just not rigorous enough

    • James Coulee

      I’m afraid those light chimneys aren’t over the galleries but over the library/store (not depicted in this set of pictures).

      They’re an odd choice indeed, as they’re not highlighting the most special spaces.

      But they’re plastically interesting, specially considering the most emblematic historic buildings of the region (which work this “chimney” theme abundantly).