Architect Miguel Beleza, operating at Atelier Central (Lisbon, Portugal), has designed a concrete house for Quinta dos Foios, in Azeitão (Lisbon, Portugal). Apparently opaque, the house is yet ruled by a strong, unexpected interior/exterior contrast.
The very first concern is simple and natural:
- a house that looks like a house
- Basic shapes
- Concrete as the main material
- Time as an ally
By analogy, emulation and filtration, the elements emerge: roof, windows, chimney, porch, balcony, railings.
Strong, unexpected interior/exterior contrast
Acceptance of the effects of exposed materials: oxidation, erosion, wet/dry contrast
The project was accomplished in a plot of ground in Vila Nogueira de Azeitão, a small town on the south bank of Tagus river. The family expected a house with a view over the nearby Arrábida ridge, shut off towards the immediate environment.
A concrete, monolithic bulk covered with a zinc roof is interspersed with spans which result from the interior severity. On the ground level, the interior recedes at the south and west façades, creating an interior/exterior transition space. Receding glass-windows are protected by large corten steal panels. The stairway leading to the upper floors acts as a distributing element, occupying the entire north façade. The house has a four-level organization: basement with garage/workshop; ground-floor with a living room and kitchen; first floor with four bedrooms and a wide area for study/leisure and a locker room; second floor/attic for a music room/library. The white walls, Riga wood, tiles and softened stone of the interior contrast with the concrete, iron and the rough-cut stone of the exterior.