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Casa no Meco

Renovating Tradition

Fábio Ferreira Neves

Casa no Meco
By Francesco Pagliari -

Casa no Meco is a family residence in the little town of Aldeia do Meco, on Portugal’s Atlantic coast. Completed in 2023, this one-story detached family home is an example of how traditional Mediterranean architecture can be successfully re-worked to accommodate contemporary lifestyles. The building’s new massing echoes the typical streetscape configuration of the town with houses aligned along the main roads. 

A recent influx of tourists attracted by the long beaches washed by the ocean and in search of short-term accommodation triggered a wave of quality restructuring and requalification. An earlier project in the same town by Fábio Ferreira Neves – Patio do Meco (THE PLAN 114) – built on the site of a dilapidated farmhouse, later demolished, took great care to preserve the architectural characteristics of the former rural building but also the urban context.

The innovative architecture of Casa no Meco also combines the logical and functional simplicity of the typical rural constructions in the area with the equally logical and functional characteristics of a contemporary home. With the new volume, the architect has re-thought how the building relates to its context, enhancing the continuity between interiors and exteriors. This was achieved by a process of subtraction performed on the virtual plan of the original building to create a segmented south-west elevation ensuring privacy and natural daylighting of interiors that seamlessly connect with the exterior. The three bedrooms on this side open out through wood-shuttered French windows onto a wood-slatted patio running the length of the building. The south-east side of the house contains the socialization area – a large living room connected to another ample kitchen and dining space. The glazed opening, also closed by wooden shutters, gives onto a paved pathway running along the south-east and north-east elevations. A recessed space,...

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