A Small Journey through Inspiring Contemporary Portuguese Architecture and Design Projects
Another obvious major influence to the work of ARCHYI.’s team, is the love for our authentic and rich culture. Portugal is not only a country of inspiring landscapes, excellent wine and food and lovely welcoming people…
Portugal is also the homeland of many globally recognized talented designers, architects and artists that let the influence of Portuguese essence show through their best work. Works that are part of our time and at the same time contain echoes of architectural and cultural traditions.
ARCHYI. has born as a premium brand to inspire workspace interior architects and designers with well-though high end collaborative design solutions that can help them shape efficient and creative workplaces. So ARCHYI. team has decided to pay an homage to some of these brilliant professionals… and artists.
To give you a clearer idea of what we mean, here is a compilation of some iconic projects by renowned Portuguese architects and designers.
Architects First (since architecture is an older art)
Álvaro Siza and Eduardo souto de Moura are inescapable figures when we talk about architecture in general, so when we are talking about Portuguese architecture, they are always at the top of the list!
Recently built in the southern region of Portugal, the famous Algarve, we now find a one of a kind project for the architect that designed it. For Alvaro Siza – the most awarded and globally recognized Portuguese architect – Capela do Monte (Hillside Chapel) project was truly an unique project, not only because (as he describes in his own words) this is a pure architectural project that marked his first building realization in Algarve.
Built as the focal point of The Monte da Charneca Center, scheduled to open in early 2021, a privately funded initiative that will offer visitors to Portugal’s Algarve region a peaceful, spirit-restoring retreat, this project is unique mostly because this beautiful one-story structure, with a footprint of 10.34 x 6.34 meters (34 x 21 feet), is built without electricity, heat or running water, relying on natural ventilation and materials (insulated brick, limestone and tiles) to keep it cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
The same strategic openings in the roof and walls that allow for natural ventilation also enable ample daylight that then beautifully floods the white in the partially tiled interior. In an open passage coming from a south-facing entry, three murals, drawn by the architect himself on Portuguese ceramic tiles, representing the birth, baptism, and death of Jesus Christ. Siza also designed the furniture inside, and the simple but truly original 7½-foot wood cross.
Siza has given us numerous reasons why he is a brilliant architect, being an artist, makes him not only master the creation and idealization of spaces, but also of all things that compose those spaces, like no other.
Eduardo Souto de Moura, who has recently added to his Pritzker Prize, the Golden Lion of Venice, designs buildings that have a unique ability to convey seemingly conflicting characteristics – like power and humility, boldness and subtlety, audacious public authority and sense of intimacy – understood not a quick glance but in a more intense encounter.
Taking for instances the project of the conversion for residential use of the Convento das Bernardas, in Tavira, a building built by will of Manuel I, dating back to 1509 that, for more than three centuries, was a convent for nuns before being converted, after a long period of neglect, to a steam powered factory which operated until the 1960s.
It took the genius, and authentic talent of Souto de Moura to transform this historic complex into a residence with 78 houses preserving the stone walls and floors as well as the brick vaults.
The architecture design is divided into two types of intervention, with new construction work and the recovery of the existing building. The envelope of the different buildings and the alternation of fills and voids has been redesigned, but the essence of the original building and its historic journey has been kept there in the smallest details.
The best of Portugal in interior design geniality
Even though there are a lot of good, uniquely talented Portuguese artists working in interior design, product and equipment design, Nini Andrade Silva is one of the most prestigious interior designers in the world. So it is natural that this Design graduated, born in Funchal, Madeira Island is always one of the names that first pops when we think in internationally recognized Portuguese interior designers. Having placed the name of Portugal alongside the biggest and best designers in the world, Nini is the creative mind behind multiple renowned hospitality projects and the design of several unique furniture pieces, many of which distinguished with prestigious awards. In 2015, Nini Andrade Silva atelier won the iconic World Travel Awards both for South America’s and Europe’s Leading Design Hotel with the innovative projects of B.O.G Hotel in Bogota, Colombia and The Vine Hotel, in Funchal, Madeira Island.
Nini Andrade Silva conceives projects as a conjunction of both modern and natural elements, with a desire to incorporate comfort and well-being, as well as the cultural roots and traditions of the place she is working on.
Other “Hot” name concerning portuguese interior design projects is Pedra Silva Arquitectos. With several projects of international impact, and the recognition behind several awards, this collective of architects presents in each project a unique way of facing a challenge and raising the same question: how to transform a problem into a unique opportunity? With more than a decade of experience, this team has developed their capacity and flexibility, improved methods, germinated their experience and know-how, growing, getting better until becoming a reference in architecture and interior design, capable of responding to problems by adding value and finding the means to create different dreams in any part of the world.
The Portugality of a Modern Plastic Artist
Joana Vasconcelos is one of Portugal’s most famous contemporary artists. Her style centers on taking feminine objects and placing them into unexpected contexts – usually with colorful, playful results. She has started to exhibit regularly since the mid-1990s, but her work became known internationally after her participation in the 51st Venice Biennale in 2005, with the work A Noiva [The Bride] (2001-05). She was the first woman and the youngest artist to exhibit at the Palace of Versailles, in 2012. Recent highlights of her career include a solo exhibition at Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao.
The creative process of Joana Vasconcelos’s is based on the “appropriation, decontextualisation and subversion of pre-existent objects and everyday realities. Sculptures and installations, which are revealing of an acute sense of scale and mastery of color, as well as the recourse to performances and video or photographic records, all combine in the materialization of concepts which challenge the pre-arranged routines of the quotidian”. Alongside with irreverence, influences of Portuguese traditions and popular art are always identifiable.
Don’t jump to conclusions just because of Portugal’s size!! It might be small country, but when it comes to arts, Portugal is constantly giving important contributions to the global culture!