Design Notebook by Sias SA

Mediterranean Architecture with a Twist

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House in Possanco by ARX Architects, photo © Fernando Guerra

For the design of a vacation house in Portuguese countryside Possanco Commora, ARX Lisbon Architects, manipulated the traditional two-garret and patios formal vocabulary of Alentejo region houses, in creating a strong pierced volume “a house of deformed perspective in axonometric projection”.

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House in Possanco by ARX Architects, photo © Fernando Guerra

Traditional Mediterranean architecture is characterized by the use of garrets and patios, structural elements that maintain the buildings’ interiors cool during the hot summer months yet sober during the winter. They also form the unique landscape of Mediterranean countryside, dispersed with these long-roof whitish concrete volumes. To produce the design for this week-end house, ARX playfully elaborated basic elements of the Alentejo region buildings and the limitations imposed by the site’s size and orientation.

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House in Possanco by ARX Architects, photo © Fernando Guerra

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House in Possanco by ARX Architects, photo © Fernando Guerra

From the road that faces south, one meets a blind wall that rises one-storey in height to provide privacy from the passer’s by eyes. Four patios, a central one, one adjacent to the living-room, one near the guest bathroom and one near the children’s room, introduce light into this part of the house. In the north, the building reaches its maximum height and opens up to the landscape through openings and windows. The patios and openings allow views to pierce through the triangular white concrete volume.

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House in Possanco by ARX Architects, photo © Fernando Guerra

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House in Possanco by ARX Architects, photo © Fernando Guerra

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House in Possanco by ARX Architects, Concept Models, photo © Fernando Guerra

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House in Possanco by ARX Architects, First floor plan

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House in Possanco by ARX Architects, Ground floor plan

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 House in Possanco by ARX Architects, Northeast Facade

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 House in Possanco by ARX Architects, South Facade

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 House in Possanco by ARX Architects, Southeast Facade

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 House in Possanco by ARX Architects, Longitudinal Section

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 House in Possanco by ARX Architects, Transversal Section

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 House in Possanco by ARX Architects, Transversal Section

source: ARX Architects