In a reimagination of a traditional Portuguese street front, Aires Mateus has designed the ‘Estrela House’, a home in Lisbon made entirely from concrete and fit with a rooftop pool.
Portugal has been decidedly influenced by those who have settled and traded within its territory throughout history; the designs of the Romans, Suebians, Germans, Visigoths, and Arabs along with the influence of the Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Neoclassical styles popular in the major artistic centers in Europe have shaped a unique architectural tradition. In the neighborhood of the ‘Estrela House’, this tradition has manifested in houses that are ornate, colorful and adorned with elements from various architectural styles and epochs. In response, local firm Aires Mateus has created a townhouse that offers a new addition to a typical Portuguese street—a minimalist home built of concrete for a multi-generational family. After the juxtaposition of the house to its neighbors, the rooftop terrace is perhaps the most striking part of the home. Partially enclosed, this sculptural space features a bowl-shaped pool and overlooks the neighboring 18th-century basilica. Inside, the home is organized across three levels, allowing the parents and their adult children space to live independently whilst also being together. The concrete walls remain exposed, light wood paneling and curved walls offer contrast, softening what could otherwise be a hard space.