From a distant path on the outskirts of Santiago do Cacém, an amalgam of white shapes can be seen emerging from the cork oaks of Portugal’s arid Alentejo. Under the brilliant sunlight, these gleaming blocks showcase Atelier dos Remédios’ latest creative ambition - Monte do Córrego.
Atelier dos Remédios is headed up by partners, Madalena Cardozo de Menezes and Francisco Teixeira Bastos. Having started their practice in 1998, they now offer architectural services in public and private sectors in Portugal. Since 2009, they have developed projects that include the refurbishment and extension of school facilities for a handful of Portuguese secondary schools. Their most recent project however, is one of minimalistic indulgence; a tribute to its surroundings, a single-detached dwelling project commissioned by a family whose dream it was to experience the tranquillity of pastoral scenery.
The house can be reached through a minimalist gate which opens into a vast stretch of land against which the structure poses inconspicuously. Monte do Córrego is partly set into the ground, and as a result its front façade is diminished to create clear openings into the countryside behind the building, exposing the rural beauty of agricultural fields.
The front entrance is also half sunken into the earth. The door slides back to reveal the large interior expanse, a rich marbled concrete floor, and the numerous courtyards that are concealed within the green roof. The family can gather in one of many social spaces connected to the outdoor areas or remain reclusive within their separate areas.
Monte do Córrego is about a family coming together to enjoy Alentejo’s scenic countryside, and the design results both from a dialogue between architecture and landscape as well as indoor and outdoor. The goal is to reconcile farming and living into a unified architectural experience on the farmland of Santiago do Cacém.
Atelier dos Remédios; atrem.eu
Photography © Fernando Guerra + Sergio Guerra; ultimasreportagens.com