Houses on the Sand (Casas na Areia)/

Aires Mateus Arquitectos


Project Details



Comporta / Portugal



Year (Design/Construction):

2008 / 2010

Area (Net/Gross):

- / 180 m2
Operational Carbon emissions

Operational Carbon emissions (B6) kgCO2e/m2/y:

Embodied Carbon emissions

Embodied Carbon emissions (A1-A3) kgCO2e/m2:

  • Use of traditional thatched wood and straw technique for the  execution of the roof of the four volumes, and the facade of two of the four volumes.
  • The floor of the two wooden volumes consists of a concrete slab covered only by sand.

Project description as provided by the Architects.

This project is a response to very specific conditions. Its basis is the recovery of existing wood-masonry buildings, providing the complex with a homogeneous unity under a sloping roof. The design begins with the existing material conditions, depending on their inhabitation potential.

The brief suggests the renovation of the masonry buildings, adapting them for use as individual rooms, while one of the two wooden volumes is converted into a two-bedroom pavilion and the other is the pavilion for common areas.

The street entrance emerges through the sandy ground, which is used as a basis for all the constructions. This treated material is spread as paving inside the community pavilion, qualifying the domestic conditions with a sense of natural comfort. The textural continuity of powerful material like sand changes the scale of the interior spaces, making the act of inhabitation a unique poetic experience, fitting for the sort of experience sought for this place.

Client: Silent Living

Architects: Aires Mateus Arquitectos

Project Leader: Maria Rebelo Pinto

Collaborators: Humberto Fonseca

Engineering: Coprend, Projectual

Landscaping: Álvaro Manso

Photography: Aires Mateus Arquitectos

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