In the countryside of the Grândola Municipality in Portugal, architect Pedro Reis' House in Melides is a private residence that provides escape from the city life. Designed as a modern retreat with a strong geometric aesthetic, this vacation home offers an open floor plan that steps into the scenic countryside. Furthermore, the pure form of the home's volumes is enhanced through sustainable design methods such as daylighting, natural ventilation, and decreased site disturbance.
The House in Melides is separated into two major programmatic areas within the two stacked rectilinear volumes. The lower volume hosts the sleeping and service areas, while the suspended upper volume concentrates the main living spaces of the home. The lower volume, clad in pre-fabricated sheets of earth-colored concrete, blends into the land as if a slab of rock in the landscape. The upper volume is reminiscent of the modern designs of Philip Johnson and uses floor to ceiling glass on many of its facades. Though most of the home is painted white inside and out, the changing colors of the countryside become the accent colors and artwork.
Pedro Reis has truly found the minimal essence of residential design in this countryside home. The client made the uncommon decision to have three of the area design offices compete for this home; Reis presented a home built on top of a steep hill in order to maximize drama and connectivity to the surrounding landscape. The minimalism of this design crossed over the artistic plane of design, which allows the dwelling to exist in a passively lit and ventilated state. Not much is needed in this holiday home, and a good escape from the amenities of urban life concentrates on being outside when in.
Via Minimal Home