Vitor Vilhena Architects developed a modern residence situated in a beautiful setting included in Estate of Arrifóias, Alentejo, Portugal, where nature and topography have very specific features. Respecting the terrain entirely, the project was imagined in total communion with its natural surroundings. The residence has a total area of 175 square meters and is composed of two volumes, which come together in an “L”-shape, maximizing the southern sun exposure.
From afar, this modern home in Odemira resembles a giant white moving structure that seems to make its way up the hill. As you approach it, more “human elements” start to appear in sight, such as a friendly outdoor terrace and a swimming pool. The interiors are yet to be decorated, but you can tell that the house does not lack space or natural light. [Photos and information received via e-mail by Vitor Vilhena Architects ]
What is new and exciting now can quickly begin to look tired and out of fashion, so the best buildings don’t just consider what will be interesting to look at now, but also how it might look to people in five, fifty or even a hundred years’ time. 2013’s hotly contested RIBA Stirling Prize went to Witherford Watson Mann Architects for their work on Astley Castle, Warwickshire. In what RIBA Past President Stephen Hodder has described as an extreme retrofit, the project essentially saw a new building inserted subtly into the heart of the old, with a new, two storey residence now hidden within the sandstone walls of the ruins of this medieval castle, to be used as a holiday home for up to eight guests
The best architects can create designs which will give clients and the public things they didn’t even realise they wanted, and this is especially important when architects are given the difficult brief of creating structures in much-loved, iconic areas.