Ten years ago, when StudioMK27 tried to do a project using exposed concrete, many builders said that this was practically impossible. The experience of constructing in raw concrete during these last ten years has shown StudioMK27 the impracticality of making an absolutely perfect material. The Contemporary House of Ipês incorporates this experience of design and construction in exposed concrete.
The modern architecture brutalists adopted raw concrete under the pretext of formal truth. In reality, reinforced concrete imposed the construction of complex form works, generally with new wood and of good quality, making it a costly material. The construction of a ripped texture needs precise carpentry of total craftsmanship, mounting the negative of the building in hand-made wood.
In this modern house the material is used in a radical manner throughout the upper volume and, as such, the large concrete Box appears to be floating atop a glass volume. The contemporary living room, which continues to the veranda and the garden, the doors open entirely, diluting the division between interior and exterior.
The main entrance is done through pivoting panels that also open entirely to the front garden. In the internal space, a long irregularly-shaped sofa wriggles around the room, constructing a space with no hierarchy among the different orientations.
The use of raw concrete refers to modern buildings, aesthetically and functionally, as in a dialogue with this modern architecture. The House of Ipês, with its grand spans and brute material, transpires a sobriety and the concrete impregnated by the passage of time, exposes the existence of the life of the building.
Photographs: Fernando Guerra | FG+SG