House in Alcobaça
by Aires Mateus

| 16 comments
 

Portuguese studio Aires Mateus has transformed a house in Portugal into a bright white building with a sprawling extension (+ slideshow).

House in Alcobaca by Aires Mateus

The three-storey house is located in Alcobaça, a Portuguese city dominated by the presence of a twelfth century monastery, and it occupies a large irregularly shaped site on the edge of the river Dull.

House in Alcobaca by Aires Mateus

Aires Mateus upgraded and extended an existing residence and made every surface inside and outside of the house white, allowing it stand out amongst the brown and pink tones of the surrounding local architecture.

House in Alcobaca by Aires Mateus

The new windows appear as narrow vertical slices. Some of them overlap the white-painted frames that housed the windows before the renovation and each one is sunken into a deep recess, revealing the thickness of the exterior walls.

House in Alcobaca by Aires Mateus

Residents enter the house on the middle floor, where a staircase leads up and down towards either a top floor mezzanine or a lower floor living room.

House in Alcobaca by Aires Mateus

A curved skylight punctures the roof overhead and projects a teardrop-shaped splash of light onto the walls of the stairwell.

House in Alcobaca by Aires Mateus

Another curved opening leads from the living room to the rooms of the expansive extension, where a kitchen, a dining room and three bedrooms are spaced out around a series of small square courtyards.

House in Alcobaca by Aires Mateus

Storage closets are contained inside each of the thick walls that separate the rooms.

House in Alcobaca by Aires Mateus

The L-shaped garden wraps around the edge of the house and is bounded by the chunky white perimeter walls.

House in Alcobaca by Aires Mateus

Aires Mateus is a Lisbon-based architectural studio led by Manual and Francisco Aires Mateus. Past projects include a nursing home in Alcácer do Sal and houses with sandy floors that were exhibited for the Venice Architecture Biennale 2010.

House in Alcobaca by Aires Mateus

See more Portuguese houses on Dezeen, including a house in Lisbon with bushy plants on its facade.

House in Alcobaca by Aires Mateus

See more architecture in Portugal »

House in Alcobaca by Aires Mateus

Photography is by Fernando Guerra.

House in Alcobaca by Aires Mateus

Above: lower ground floor plan - click above for larger image

House in Alcobaca by Aires Mateus

Above: upper ground floor plan - click above for larger image

House in Alcobaca by Aires Mateus

Above: top floor plan - click above for larger image

House in Alcobaca by Aires Mateus

Above: cross section - click above for larger image

House in Alcobaca by Aires Mateus

Above: long section - click above for larger image

House in Alcobaca by Aires Mateus

Above: rear elevation - click above for larger image

  • http://www.walnutgreydesign.com/ Mr Walnut Grey

    Pretty incredible juxtaposing of styles.

  • Davide

    Maybe you should wear sunglasses to live well inside.

  • jun

    Pretty cold.

  • http://menstream.pl/instrukcje/tablety-c14.html Instrukcje tabletow

    Wow, amazing. Modern and clean style, but for me it’s too white. But still impressive.

  • http://www.flooringfirst.co.uk/ Emma Sanders

    There is such a contrast between that transformed house and the homes around, which look like ruins to some extent. I agree with Davide: although it looks great, you will probably need a pair of sunglasses. Too much white colour is not very healthy for your eyes.

  • zizi

    Brilliant as always!

  • eisuke

    Wow, amazing detailing. I can’t even see the roof trims. Is it Photoshopped out or does it never rain in Portugal? No downpipes too.

  • calle wirsch

    Wonderful project at a wonderful place. Simply ingenious.

  • johnson

    An assault on the eyes – why not paint the thing pink like the rest of the town, unless it’s some sort of important public building?

  • mik

    I don’t like the way the new white wall binds with that existing stone wall. But I guess that’s just my opinion.

  • svensson

    Impressive, but it fails miserably at being a house. It needs texture and the lawn is totally inadequate. Let vines grow and fix it.

  • henk

    Love it. Without the downpipes, it will become patina very soon and then it’ll be integrated into the context.

  • hjt

    How on earth does that flat roof work?

  • http://www.amberfreda.com Amber Freda

    It reminds me of a modern interpretation of the white houses on Santorini island in Greece.

  • Heavenairport

    F*ck, that’s good.

  • Deuce

    The architecture isn’t the problem. It’s the lack of art, life, color inserted into the white background. It just looks dead here without it.

    Reminds me of how important inserted art is to Tadao Ando’s work.