The Serenely Introverted Simple House from Aires Mateus | Home Design Find

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The Serenely Introverted Simple House from Aires Mateus

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Huge reddish wooden sliding doors on each side open or close the Simple house from Aires Mateus.

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The stark building is in a dry region with olive groves, cork trees and sunflowers in the bare landscape of the Alentejo near the Atlantic coast of Portugal.

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Each side is only accessed in the center, by a full height sliding door. Although starkly modern, the introverted architecture of thick white walls and few windows is traditional in this region, partly a response to climate, and partly cultural; dating back to the Ottoman Empire.

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Empty cubes throughout the house are part of its strange introverted charm.

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As if scooped out from a marble cube, the Simple House is all white throughout its monastic interior.

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Unremittingly white both outside and throughout; the walls are plastered white, the door frames are steel, painted white, and throughout, the floor is pale creamy-white marble.

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The house has a moody mysterious introversion. It is cool and distant.

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For access to the bedrooms, an entire wall opens. The giant steel-framed glass doors pivot around a center-hinge.

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This way the bedrooms can be completely open or closed.

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Only unseen courtyards bring natural light in but no view out of the windowless rooms.

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A corner courtyard illuminates the bathroom.

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Another corner courtyard is so completely devoid of stimulation as to make the building seem almost like a hospital or a retreat from sensory overload.

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But the absolute simplicity of the cube house also provides a perfect frame for the changing light on the landscape.

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So that when ready to take in the view, it can be consumed in a big gulp.

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Just these simple blocks of marble form the step up, throughout, even to the simple galley kitchen.

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Changing levels mark the different rooms inside, and a simple block of marble accesses each with a single stair.

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The interior rooms can be separated from the outside with full-height sliding glass doors.

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The result is a building that remains open only to the sky in its four corners and, a very long, hot, enervating walk away; the final relief of an equally mysterious swimming pool.

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