Tate Modern Switch House by Herzog & de Meuron. Copyright Jim Stephenson 2016

An Irregular Dome Shaped Like A Tidal Wave Marks This House In Monsaraz, Portugal

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Name
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House in Monsaraz
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A flat-topped residential property with an inverted dome earmarks ‘House In Monsaraz’, which local architecture firm Aires Mateus has designed in the Portuguese town of the same name.

The firm is known for their minimal, geometric architecture that often features angled facades, scooped cut outs, and asymmetrical openings. In ‘House In Monsaraz’, a corner appears to have been sliced away from the home to create a shaded courtyard. Shaped like a tidal wave, the angled dome creates an opening that lights the interior, and accommodates an entrance to the living and dining areas. Each bedroom opens out with views of the scenery in different directions. “Faced with the boundless extents of the Alqueva lake nearby, the house required a center: a protected courtyard embracing the water,” explains the firm. The dome “covers the social areas and is the life center of the house.” The foundation of the residence is set into the ground—from a birds-eye view, only three skylights and a descending staircase are visible through the terrain. As the land slopes downwards, the curving dome becomes more prominent. “Amid a wide natural landscape, the scale of the house is that of the patios and superior dome,” the firm continues. “They are the sole visible elements, painted in radiant white.”

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Image © João Guimarães

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Image © João Guimarães

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Image © João Guimarães

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Image © Rui Cardoso

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Image © Rui Cardoso

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Image © Rui Cardoso

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Image © João Guimarães

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Image © João Guimarães

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Image © Rui Cardoso

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Image © João Guimarães

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Image © João Guimarães

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Image © Rui Cardoso

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Image © João Guimarães

All images © João Guimarães and Rui Cardoso. Courtesy the artists and Aires Mateus