Livramento House is a private basalt stone and concrete dwelling designed by Mezzo Atelier on the Portuguese Island of São Miguel. Housing an English couple and their six dogs, the home reflects its residents’ practical and slow lifestyle through its serene siting atop a deep slope surrounded by greenery, and the minimalist, luminous interior spaces finished with natural details. For its overall form, the architects draw on the typology and language of a nearby ruin, integrating this with the unevenness of the sloping site to create a stratified two-story structure with ground levels anchored to the bearing wall in lava stone.
the heavy stone ground floor in contrast with the light grey upper lever | all images by Ana Sampaio Barros Tourmaline Ball
The structure sits on a deep slope following the north-south direction, surrounded by the rich natural landscape of the Portuguese Azores Archipelago. Approaching the original site, the architects at Mezzo Atelier were met with uneven grounds created by the site’s natural conditions and previous developments. Mitigating these differences, the team implemented the vernacular construction details and basalt stone structure of the architectural ruins nearby. As such, Livramento House emerges as a two-floor volume unifying several platforms and both ground levels anchored to a lava stone bearing wall. The lava stone floor facade on the ground floor is a continuation of the existing bearing wall and contrasts with the light grey upper level.
wooden sliding panels enable privacy and sunlight protection
The minimalist, natural interiors reflect the owners’ practical and easy going lifestyles. The social area is a luminous open space with a generous kitchen extending outdoors and merging into a covered terrace. This protected external lounge shelters the couple and their dogs during rainy and windy days, and allows them to enjoy the outdoor landscape in more favorable weather. The social area and property entrance are located on the upper floor while bedrooms, private service areas, and the home office sit below in direct continuation of the lower south side garden and deck, with picturesque views. Protecting these spaces from the south and west sunlight, Mezzo Atelier incorporates external wooden shades over the large windows, adding an additional natural texture and character to the facade. Finally, an outdoor staircase in cement, stone, and steel links both ground levels from the upper terrace to the deck below along the east facade.
the dogs’ door and service entrance are located on the west facade
Mezzo Atelier reclaims vernacular construction details using local basalt stone
a covered terrace extends from the inner social areas
exposed concrete slab and cement plasters lend a rustic finish
Livramento House sits on a sloping slide in Portugal’s São Miguel island
name: Livramento House architecture: Mezzo Atelier lead architects: Joana de Oliveira, Giacomo Mezzadri
collaborators: Sabrina Sinelli, Nuno Simas
location: São Miguel Island, Portugal
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edited by: ravail khan | designboom
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