House in Ourém, Portugal

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The monolithic House in Ourém provides a contemporary take on the stereotypical house shape. Architect Filipe Saraiva referenced the universal silhouette found in childhood drawings from all over the world, but transformed the volume into a modern structure that transcends time and culture. Built for himself and his family, Saraiva’s design satisfies both functional needs and particular architectural requirements which in turn reflect the architect’s individual style. Maintaining the original concept as pure as possible, the simple but monumental volume extends longitudinally over the slope of the plot of land.

The distinctive cladding features modular sections of black concrete panels, which lowered the cost of the project and also helped to integrate the structure in its natural environment. Wooden sections mark the covered terrace that extends the house’s volume forward. Inside, the bright white walls contrast the dark exterior. Large windows flood the rooms with natural light. The glazed facade connects the living room, dining room, and kitchen to the outdoor terrace, framing the gorgeous bucolic landscape at the same time. Facing south, the minimalist concrete house also overlooks the medieval Castle of Ourém, connecting this modern dwelling to the location’s rich heritage. Photographs© João Morgado.

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