Simple Forms Define Architect Filipe Saraiva’s Portugal Abode
Designing one’s own home from the ground up might be every architect’s dream, but when Filipe Saraiva decided to build a house for his family, he rejected flights of fancy and went back to basics. “When we ask a child to draw a house,” the Atelier Filipe Saraiva principal notes, “he or she invariably presents us with a simplistic representation of five lines.” And that was all it took to create a 3,765-square-foot two-story house in the medieval city of Ourém, Portugal.
Long blocks of prefabricated concrete encase the five lines of the building’s pentagonal frame. The ground floor houses the master bedroom, living area (with floor-to-ceiling windows), and kitchen complete with pantry and wine cellar. Upstairs are two bedrooms, each with its own bathroom (a teenager’s dream), a “man cave” with a mezzanine, and an office that enjoys views of olive and other fruit trees. An interior courtyard sends light and air through the floor. “The connection and flux between interior and exterior allows us to experience different sensations while remaining physically present in a single space,” Saraiva says.
A raised terrace, defined by pine slats, offers a grouping of custom iron-and-cork chairs gathered around a eucalyptus-trunk table, the perfect spot to sit and draw up future plans.