House in Melides / Pedro Reis

© FG+SG – , Sergio Guerra

Architect: Pedro Reis
Location: , Grândola, Portugal
Collaborators: Isabel Silvestre, Tiago Tomás
Landscape: Global2 – Inês Norton
Structure: ARA – Alves Rodrigues & Associados, Lda
HVAC: ACRIBIA – Projectos e Desenho Técnico, Lda
Electricity, telecommunications and security: ACRIBIA: Projectos e Desenho Técnico, Lda
Hydraulic: ACRIBIA – Projectos e Desenho Técnico, Lda
Project Area: 344 sqm
Project Year: 2010
Photographs: FG+SG – Fernando Guerra, Sergio Guerra

level 00 plan
level 01 plan

The house in Melides, on the southern Alentejo Coast, by Pedro Reis, represents the desire for a holiday house as a getaway from the bustle of a big city. The client made the unusual decision to have an architectural competition between three distinct ateliers, allowing a choice from a wider range of possible solutions. This winning proposal presents a reading of the “drama” of the natural countryside, building it on top of a steep hill relatively protected by the surrounding “rugged topography”.

© FG+SG – Fernando Guerra, Sergio Guerra
© FG+SG – Fernando Guerra, Sergio Guerra

Inhabiting this site means “founding a place” by means of a “strong geometric imprint”, achieved by two volumes overlapping in the shape of a “cross”. The aim of this dialectic strategy is not just to reduce the “scale and presence” of the construction, but also to “split” the programme into two areas, one more “exuberant” and exposed and the other more “intimate” and contained. If the light upper volume recalls the synthetic image of the modern house, with large glass areas open to the scenic countryside, the “anchored” lower volume, clad with sheets of earth-coloured concrete, pre-fabricated in situ, sits on the ground, giving support and stability to the house. In terms of programmatic organisation, the “suspended” upper volume concentrates the main spaces, defining the “minimum housing unit”, while the lower volume acts as an “expansion zone”, hosting more intimate areas or service areas, allowing increased occupation. The kitchen, as the centre of the home, takes on paramount importance here, acting as the crossing-point for all movements: entering, going through the inside and moving out into the garden, with the long pergola providing shade and a water tank reflecting the pine trees, set under the house into the main bedroom. The experience of this house aims to concentrate on its essence, on being inside and out, on contemplating and lingering, highlighting a enjoyable sense of living, close to the amenities of urban life.

Cite: "House in Melides / Pedro Reis" 29 Jun 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 23 May 2015. <>
  • Meta_ Archi

    Very clean, simple and nice!

  • architect

    well executed.
    but absolutely boring and generic. no creativity.

  • Lucas

    Yeah it looks kinda pretty, but have we not seen this a zillion times before? Any minimalist architect can design a house like this in about 20 minutes… How about something new? Of course that a bit more difficult, and takes more time!

  • architect

    i don’t think i am.
    they are uninspiring.

  • archilocus

    A lot of efforts put in the details, less in the architecture. It’s a cliché of those attractive contemporary houses, like the ones you find in “architecture for dummies” magazines.
    50 stairs, 4 out of 5 bedrooms built in a garage, a huge and useless terrace you can’t access…
    Oh ! one great thing: the photographs.

    • fred-do

      totalmente de acuerdo