lisbon-based architecture studio aires mateus has completed a monolithic white structure that serves as a community meeting center. situated in grândola, a small town in portugal’s setúbal district, the project is not only defined by its monochromatic color scheme, but also by the dramatic apertures cut into its façades. photographed here by nelson garrido, two recessed voids on each elevation relate to the scale and location of the surrounding buildings, helping to define the structure’s mass.

aires mateus sculpts monolithic meeting center in southern portugal
all images by nelson garrido

 

 

led by brothers manuel and francisco, aires mateus has ensured that the community center is capable of hosting large gatherings as well as smaller groups. these programmatic requirements informed the schemes interior layout, with modestly sized rooms at the building’s perimeter surrounding a more substantial volume at the center of the plan.

aires mateus sculpts monolithic meeting center in southern portugal
the monolithic white structure serves as a community meeting center

 

 

the ceiling responds to the spaces it contains with a sharply undulating overhead terrain. openings in the roof, in addition to the façade’s carefully positioned apertures, guarantee that the entire structure is brightly and naturally illuminated. recently longlisted as part of the doha art mill competition, aires mateus previously completed a rural holiday home in southern portugal using board formed concrete.

aires mateus sculpts monolithic meeting center in southern portugal
the project is located in grândola, a small town in portugal’s setúbal district

aires mateus sculpts monolithic meeting center in southern portugal
the project is defined by its monochromatic color scheme

aires mateus sculpts monolithic meeting center in southern portugal
the ceiling responds to the spaces it contains with a sharply undulating overhead terrain

aires mateus sculpts monolithic meeting center in southern portugal
the community center is capable of hosting large gatherings as well as smaller groups

aires mateus sculpts monolithic meeting center in southern portugal
carefully positioned apertures guarantee that the entire structure is brightly illuminated

aires mateus sculpts monolithic meeting center in southern portugal
recessed voids on each elevation relate to the scale and location of the surrounding buildings

aires mateus sculpts monolithic meeting center in southern portugal
dramatic apertures have been cut into the structure’s façades

 

 

project info:

 

name: meeting centre in grândola
client: santa casa da misericórdia de grândola
location: grândola, portugal
date of project: 2011 – 2012
date of construction: 2012 – 2016
surface area: 670 sqm / 7,212 sqf
building area: 670 sqm / 7,212 sqf
site area: 670 sqm / 7,212 sqf

 

authors: manuel aires mateus, francisco aires mateus
project leader: jorge p. silva
collaborators: marco campolongo, matteo foresti, előd golicza
photography: nelson garrido
engineering: axial / três cês
constructor: manuel mateus frazão

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