We received photos and information about a modern weekend house on the Azores in Portugal, recently completed by N2X Aarquitectos. According to the press release we were sent, this project is located on a plot of land of some interest in a place called Lugar da Ribeira da Praia. The architects started from an unusual context, as this plot housed some ruins at a higher location, naturally kept apart from the surrounding lower agglomerate with which it apparently dialogs and which we then designated as “village”. The project’s idea is to “fill” the physical emptiness existing in these ruins by constructing two related modules that overlap each other and are similar to one another material-wise, but that differ in their limits, making evident the construction principle based on the loose and mismatched stone of the ruins and its surrounding walls.
Maintenance of the ruins’ external walls allowed for keeping its identity and the locals’ memory as well as to stress the present and evolution of concepts and languages prone to the human experience. The high limits of the ruins upon which the stone and blackness of the exterior panels of the house were set limit the simple and functional white interior that radiates light and brings life into its interior. A privileged view over Vale da Ribeira and the ocean, its sunny location and the environmental and landscaped components are what makes this construction respond to a significant amount of elements that together create is sustainability, via use of solar energy, rain waters for watering and reservoir filling and for an acoustic and thermally-controlled construction. [Photos and information provided by N2X Aarquitectos]
Inside the school, a wall made of cross-laminated timber separates classrooms from the main corridor, providing a space for storage and study. With very little to work with, the architects have managed to create a building that is much more than just the sum of all of its parts
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.