foto by Tiago Casanova
To build on the Atlantic islands implies a strong confrontation with nature. Not that this confrontation doesn’t happen in other places, but the geology of the Azores and the vegetation of Madeira bring that relation to the forefront. In this project for a pavilion of houses in the Jasmineiro, Ponto Atelier propose a very simple structure: the framework of a building that can accommodate different modes of inhabitation. A house is not bedrooms and living rooms, but the space in which we organise our lives. For that reason, fixed infrastructures (entrances, bathrooms, kitchen, etc.) here allow as many possible internal organisations as the imagination and needs of inhabitants require. The floors open themselves frankly to the outside and, at the perimeter of the small plot, it is the vegetation that builds the architecture of the place. The island’s exuberant species define a biological curtain that inverts the conventional priority of the architect: vegetation replaces the wall.
In the Azores, a small pavilion on a disused golf course gave form, temporarily, to a shelter. The work stripped off the exogenous lawn to reveal the geological substrate of the site, putting in its place a group of stones – simultaneously scenographic and revealing the volcanic dimension of the site. In these projects, an attention to volcanic geology and botanical qualities highlights that the focus of architecture is not necessarily what is built, but what it is possible to reveal and reconstitute from the way in which we build.
curatorship André Tavares