Family houses

Lisboa. Portugal

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House in Estrela


FAD Awards finalist 2018  Architecture
Description Technical file

The Jury’s appraisal: In the consolidated urban fabric of Lisbon at the end of the 20th century, the Aires Mateus studio created a vertical house. Its unpredictable character is present in its typology, the expression of its materials and the design of its roof. While in line with the scale of the city, it is ground-breaking in every other regard.

The house is located on a crest of the city of Lisbon, across from Estrela Basilica on one side and the river Tagus on the other. Located between two buildings in a traditional Portuguese style, the house is built in exposed concrete, both in the interior and the exterior, with windows perforating the walls from one side to the other. In the top part of the façade the concrete wall produces the final result of a curved shape opening up through the relationship established between its constituent parts. The external volume revives the shape of a traditional urban house with its sloping roof.

The house, designed for a family, covers an extensive programme requiring the use of two alternative circuits, and interior and an exterior one, to facilitate the independence of the parents’ and children’s lives. The areas reserved for services are organised inside the wooden blocks which, when closed, make their existence imperceptible.

The main access to the building is on the ground floor, where several courtyards provide daylight for the numerous spaces situated on this level. The horizontal transparency of the front and back windows connects the living room space with the garden and the street, contributing to an open communication with the entire surroundings.

In the upper floor, the master bedroom opens on to a double-height space framing the views of the garden. The children’s bedroom level opens on to a corridor on one side and a balcony on the other. The upper lounge, which occupies the entire floor, provides panoramic views of the city, with a large kitchen counter and a bathroom module. The bowl-shaped swimming pool on the terrace compresses the living room ceiling, organising the interior space along the curvature jutting out from the ceiling.

In these two upper floors the spaces direct the view through the opening at the intersection with a cylinder in the ceiling, defining the views on each side of the building.

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Localización Location: Lisboa. Portugal. Autores Authors: Manuel Aires Mateus y Francisco Aires Mateus, arquitectos. Jefe de proyecto Project leader: João Esteves, Inês Potes. Ingeniero Engineer: Safre. Colaboradores Collaborators: Helga Constantino, Sara Calem. Constructora General Contractor: Rosete Construções. Superficie construida Built area: 792m². Ejecución Completion: 2014-2017. Fotografía Photography: João Guimarães.
Francisco Aires Mateus
1070–037 Lisboa, Portugal
Manuel Aires Mateus

João Guimarães