Family mausoleum built from white marble
and black glass by Armazenar Ideias

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Portuguese studio Armazenar Ideias used blocks of white marble to build this cube-shaped mausoleum for a family living in the city of Póvoa de Varzim (+ slideshow).

Family grave house by Armazenar Ideias Arquitectos

Rather than replicating the classical structures typically built for Portuguese families, Pedro Matos of Armazenar Ideias wanted to design a more modern and simplistic vault for the Gomes family, who originated from Venezuela.

Family grave house by Armazenar Ideias Arquitectos

"There are different values to be represented in architecture now," Matos told Dezeen. "Not so much the old solemnity and 'baroque thinking' associated to death, but a much more simple and essential way to interpret it, detached from the excess of symbolism."

Family grave house by Armazenar Ideias Arquitectos

The architect sourced the purest marble he could to build the walls of the mausoleum, creating a grid of white squares around the rear and sides of the structure.

Family grave house by Armazenar Ideias Arquitectos

"The project tries to relate itself with the sacred theme," said Matos. "The facades carry the weight of a temple and are made of the whitest marble we could find, the colour of purity to Catholicism."

Family grave house by Armazenar Ideias Arquitectos

Some of these panels are slightly displaced, allowing narrow openings to puncture the rear wall.

Family grave house by Armazenar Ideias Arquitectos

To contrast with the bright marble, the facade of the vault is made from reflective black glass, intended to reflect the surroundings and give privacy to the interior.

Family grave house by Armazenar Ideias Arquitectos

"The black mirror asks everyone to look at themselves before entering," added Matos.

Family grave house by Armazenar Ideias Arquitectos

Darker marble lines the interior of the building and a single brass cross is positioned against the far wall.

Family grave house by Armazenar Ideias Arquitectos
Roof plan
Family grave house by Armazenar Ideias Arquitectos
Cross section
Family grave house by Armazenar Ideias Arquitectos
Front elevation
Family grave house by Armazenar Ideias Arquitectos
Rear elevation