Project: House for a Buddhist
Architects: Pereira Miguel Arquitectos
Lead Architects: Luís Pereira Miguel, Filipe Martins Correia
Collaborator: Mafalda Mena
Location: Monchique, Portugal
Area: 350 m²
Photo Credits: Fernando Guerra | FG+SG
Text by Pereira Miguel Arquitectos
In the hills of Monchique, between ups and downs, taking advantage of an extraordinary situation is this single-storey house. Set in a southern slope, with access by small and winding tar road, lies over one of several existing terraces that tear the steep slope into small cultivable levels.
It is in this scenario that one arrives to contemplate all the open view towards the Algarve coast and sea. The small hills are diluted as the distance increases and the entire path of the sun is visible from the edge of the pool.
From the curve of the road one can access the house through a funnel ramp that grabs the main and defining lines of the project: the line of the concrete support wall, similar to the stone terraces; and the line of the house, also made of concrete, which stands straight between the terraces.
Beyond the main volume is a small house, further away, under a cork oak tree, with independent access and clinging to the concrete wall. It is intended for the special guest, the master, who appreciates silence, meditation, and transcendental experience.
The “House for a Buddhist” is then defined by the landscape, the relationship between the two built volumes, the endless pool that mirrors everything into the various spaces that make up the house. The rest is simple, transparent materiality, with the concrete reproducing the fossilized woods in their walls, the finest aluminum possible, and the softened or diced granite stone that goes in and out the house, playing with the confines of things.
If Yoga is the architecture of peace, then here we have everything to meditate on this teaching.