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House in Guimarães

From time to time some projects deserve a second look. That is when Minimalissimo revisits outstanding pieces from the past. Take a look at this beauty originally covered 6 years ago:

An audacious dwelling dares to break the mould in the historical city of Guimarães, Portugal. The northbound city is known for being the first capital of the country, dating back to 1110’s; there is no shortage of traditional architecture and visual excesses in all forms. AZO Sequeira Arquitectos Associados brings to the table a confident bid for a hefty 650sqm residence with austereness and restraint as their main guide in all elements, pointing to trends that would soon dominate the European market.

The dark grey colour assures the volume becomes a strong presence in the neighbourhood, even including the surrounding walls. From afar, one can notice the spirited variance in height and dimensions throughout the main residence. Subsequently, it’s a structure begging for exploration and mobility by the visitor: the top floor is the main access and privileged viewpoint of the region, the middle floor is the private area with bedrooms, and finally at the base level is the social area with the kitchen and living room.

This simple inversion of dynamics demands visual cues to guide the inconspicuous visitor. Adopting glass partitions throughout the house was a smart decision; thus certifying lightness and a modern edge as well. To tackle simplicity is to counterbalance possible excesses in this case, as the scale and complexity could easily overwhelm the user.

As glass and dark colours went on to dominate contemporary buildings, Portuguese designers continue on their unique path of balancing strong aesthetics and understated functionality. The country increasingly demands attention of minimalist enthusiasts one project at a time.

Photography by Nelson Garrido.

2016.08.30 Mateus Andrade

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