Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Sheep Safely Graze

This spring I traveled to the town of Alcázar do Sal, 85 kilometers south of Lisbon, to report on this Nursing Home by Francisco and Manuel Aires Mateus. My cover story appears in the June issue of architektur.aktuell (sorry, no web page).
"A primary school is across the street, and the bright cries of children playing under the ancient trees of its grounds reach the garden, where a handful of sheep graze on the wild lawns under cork and olive trees – connections that keep the residents in touch with the life of the town and their rural origins."

"....a constant in Portuguese architecture over the centuries is clearly seen here: the tension between order and topography, between a rational, regular, repetitive system of settlement –from the urban street grid to individual buildings with their patios, gardens and terraces– and the accidents of topography and historical development that distort and transform this regular order. Amid the lush vegetation, vivid topography and mild climate of Portugal, with its mix of the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, this is the formula for a contemporary Garden of Eden."
In the Garden of Eden
Nursing Home, Alcácer do Sal, Portugal
Francisco + Manuel Aires Mateus
architektur.aktuell 387
Issue theme: Solid Structures
June 2012, pages 64 - 75; cover.

 Photo: DC

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