Grândola Meeting Centre is located on a block of several historic buildings in Grândola, Portugal. The gorgeous structure was designed by Portuguese acclaimed minimalist architecture firm Aires Mateus. The new building stands out among the city’s traditional architecture with a boxy form and smooth white façade. Although undoubtedly modern in design, Aires Mateus’ structure respects the surrounding buildings in mass and height. The design therefore opens a dialogue between the new and old buildings on the street, rather than overshadowing them.
Prisms, reminiscent of children’s blocks, are cut into the white façade, serving as indents for the door and window placements. At night these prisms glow brilliantly, creating a collection of illuminated shapes on the façade like a terrestrial broadcast to the sky. The building’s attention to geometry is heightened throughout the interior: the ceiling is covered in an expansive stretch of varying angular forms. Other than the ceiling, the interior program is quite simple: large meeting rooms allow the user to define the space based on their needs.
I have long admired Aires Mateus’ work. This firm proves time and time again that minimalist buildings are as beautiful and thrilling as their more adorned counterparts. Grândola Meeting Centre checks these boxes and verifies, without question, less really is more.