Timeless Architecture By Matteo Polignano and Aitana Serrà
Function often seems ephemeral compared to the eternity of buildings. Behind the projects of Aires Mateus there is constant research for eternity. Space, volume, and shapes are conceived to be part of all dimensions of time. In this way the goal became designing spaces that determine the atmosphere and the feelings you are immersed in while walking within them, regardless of the function, that can change multiple times during the life of the building.
While conceiving a project is the evolution and its layers that have the most interest within its life. Every time there is a project proposal, it has to be opened to criticism and to be redesigned or versioned. Is through this succession of different layers and testing approaches that their final result is created, never being afraid to start drafting it on a paper, cause it would lead to other ideas.
"When we don't know what we do, we do. It's only by doing that we know what not to do"
Their beliefs in solid work comes, not only from architecture but from painting, sculpture, literature or other cultural forms of art, that are always the foundation of the ideas behind their projects. This is the result of a deep and intense amount of studies and evolution. Like we can see in the work of art of Michael Heizer, "Double Negative", when an image is not complete, our mind is able to project its totally, by imagining what it's missing. This void, the gap generated in between the masses, it's part of their design and it's something worth maintaining.
"The simpler a concept looks, normally the more work is behind it."
When their projects must deal with heritage, this approach allows new buildings to be in dialogue with history, using sensibility and respect. At the same time this kind of projects do not shy away from denouncing their contemporaneity, that is expressed through a clear distinction. Evoking the past, not mimicking it. Often this dissimilarity is expressed with materials and colors, that are chosen meticulously to silently integrate, and at the same time to make the new as a backdrop in which life can unfold inhabiting the old.
Contextualization is then achieved by drawing on archetypal forms. Forms that refer to our collective consciousness, something that you know but you do not expect, that is able to create those moments of surprise, and at the same time to last. Something that is not a replica of the past, but that is renovated and reinvented, resonating with eternity.