Casa das Histórias by Eduardo Souto de Moura

A reddish concrete building with blue skies and trees in the background and leafless trees in front of the building
Casa das Histórias is the brainchild of architect Eduardo Souto de Moura. Photograph by Luís Ferreira Alves.
(Image credit: Luís Ferreira Alves)

A city in the midst of a cultural boom, Lisbon has been churning out a steady stream of new and revamped museums for the past four years - alas, all in converted buildings. Cascais, the town in the outskirts of Lisbon that heralded the trend back in 2006, has recently raised the stake opening of the city's latest new-build gallery, Casa das Histórias - the House of Stories.

The brainchild of architect Eduardo Souto de Moura, the structure was designed to host a collection of work by London-based Portuguese artist Paula Rego. Having part-donated, part-lent her paintings and drawings to the seaside town, the work needed a home. The striking resulting structure features a host of Souto de Moura's trademark scenographic elements - bold shapes accentuated by an intricately patterned, terracotta-tinted exterior.

Situated on a site about the size of two tennis courts, Casa das Histórias (opens in new tab) has been arranged so that the mismatched heights of the museum's two volumes fill the gap between the ground and the surrounding treetops. This yin-yang configuration of mineral versus vegetal also informs the arresting colour of the exterior walls - the reddish concrete stands in contrast to the surrounding foliage. 

The tone of the rendering and the shape of the pyramidal bodies of Casa das Histórias were inspired by a nearby residence, designed by Raúl Lino - architect of Português Suave, the architectural 'style' which knits elements of traditional Portuguese homes with modern structures - the alternative to Modernism during the country's right-wing dictatorship.

The essence of Casa das Histórias, however, can be found across the foyer, past the shop within the first pyramid, and the cafeteria in the second. Enclosed within the walls of the neighbouring volumes, the patio brings Casa das Histórias back to human scale – despite the dramatic proportions of the structure.

A reddish concrete building with part flat roof and part cones-style roof. Photographed behind tall trees and with blue skies in the background

The structure was designed to host a collection of work by London-based Portuguese artist Paula Rego. Photograph by Luís Ferreira Alves.

(Image credit: Luís Ferreira Alves)

A reddish concrete building on green fields with 2 cone-style roofs photographed behind trees and with blue skies in the background

The gallery is situated on a site around the size of two tennis courts. Photograph by Luís Ferreira Alves.


(Image credit: Luís Ferreira Alves)

Two reddish concrete cone-shaped building on a green field beside tall trees, photgraphed with blue skies behind

The sky-reaching volumes of Casa das Histórias were inspired by a nearby residence, designed by Raúl Lino. Photograph by Luís Ferreira Alves.

(Image credit: Luís Ferreira Alves)

A reddish concrete building with part flat roof and two cone shaped roof and tall trees, photographed with clear skies in the background and on green field

The structure’s reddish concrete rendering stands in contrast to the surrounding foliage. Photograph by Luís Ferreira Alves.

(Image credit: Luís Ferreira Alves)

A reddish concrete building on green fields with 2 cone-style roofs photographed with trees and blue skies in the background

The bold shapes of Casa das Histórias are accentuated by the terracotta-tinged exterior. Photograph by Luís Ferreira Alves.

(Image credit: Luís Ferreira Alves)

A reddish concrete building on a green field beside tall trees

Casa das Histórias is located in the Portuguese seaside town of Cascais. Photograph by Luís Ferreira Alves.

(Image credit: Luís Ferreira Alves)

A reddish concrete building with flat roof and tll trees, photographed with clear skies in the background

A gallery shop is situated within one of the pyramids. Photograph by Luís Ferreira Alves.

(Image credit: Luís Ferreira Alves)

A cafeteria featuring white walls, white ceiling, grey flooring and clear glass panel with brown round table and matching chairs

And a cafeteria can be found in another. Photograph by Luís Ferreira Alves.

(Image credit: Luís Ferreira Alves)

The interior of an art gallerry featuring white walls with art, white ceiling and grey square design flooring. Center white panel with arts hanging

The newly-built Casa das Histórias bucks Lisbon’s taste for galleries established within renovated buildings. Photograph by Luís Ferreira Alves.

(Image credit: Luís Ferreira Alves)

ADDRESS

Casa das Histórias Paula Rego
Avenida da República 300
Cascais
Portugal

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