The design of Grândola Meeting Center in Portugal by Aires Mateus is based on a simple white volume of concrete in which certain incisions have been sculpted and compose the doors and windows of the building.
Smooth, white rendered facades are commonplace throughout the southern Portuguese region of Alentejo. In terms of colour and structure the new meeting centre that the architects Aires Mateus designed for an old person’s home in the small town of Grândola adheres closely to this established tradition. However, the form of the new building – abstract, cubist, without projecting eaves and with a minimum of visible details – represents a radical break with the neighbourhood.
The context in its distances, alignments, proportions, define the mass. The program determines the project. A meeting centre for large gatherings or small groups. The ceiling, in its variations and geometry answers the program. A complete horizontal clearness outlines the space as a whole, which as atmosphere opposes to the weight of the vertical voids. The support functions deepen the external and peripheral wall. The final image is determined by the interaction of internal space and occupied façade.