Casa na Areia / Aires Mateus

© Nelson Garrido

Architects: Aires Mateus
Location: Comporta, , Portugal
Client: João Rodrigues
Collaborator: Humberto Fonseca
Coordinator: Maria Rebelo Pinto
Project area: 180 sqm
Project year: 2008 – 2010
Photographs: Nelson Garrido

© Nelson Garrido

This project is a response to very specific conditions. Its basis is the recovery of existing wood-masonry buildings, providing the complex with a homogeneous unity under a sloping roof. The design begins with the existing material conditions, depending on their inhabitation potential.

© Nelson Garrido

The brief suggests the renovation of the masonry buildings, adapting them for use as individual rooms, while one of the two wooden volumes is converted into a two-bedroom pavilion and the other is the pavilion for common areas.

site plan

The street entrance emerges through the sandy ground, which is used as a basis for all the constructions. This treated material is spread as paving inside the community pavilion, qualifying the domestic conditions with a sense of natural comfort. The textural continuity of powerful material like sand changes the scale of the interior spaces, making the act of inhabitation a unique poetic experience, fitting for the sort of experience sought for this place.

Cite: "Casa na Areia / Aires Mateus" 17 Mar 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 28 May 2015. <>
  • fj

    Mad concept (in positive sense), louco ;-)

  • MPArch

    I’m not a minimalism fan but these guys are consistently turning me into a fan everytime I see a project of theirs..

  • up_today_arch

    and the budget is….?

    • ahaha

      and the budget is… zero point zero

  • rps


  • alechs

    The domestic interiors mashed with the sandy ground is a very pleasing image but (shocking that it is even part of the set) the image of the electrical outlet post brings the whole things back to reality. In that regard this project just leaves a bad taste in my mouth… a obscene splicing of two radically different lifestyles: boutique residence and impoverished vernacular living. Either Aires Mateus or client are unbearably earnest or just have strange taste.

    • m

      It’s a beach house…not a slum

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  • Faris Ihsan


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  • sf

    white couch on sand floors… haha …

  • wolfgang thompson

    the sand is an issue, but cool!

  • Fantástico Dionísio

    The existance of “walls” in this project is sheer nonsense.