Saint Antonio church in Portalegre, Portugal by João Luís Carrilho da Graça architecture firm is the epitomy of simplicity. The white colour and straight lines of the structure are considered the main features of the building.  Both inside and outside part of the structure are as simple as possible representing a faith that is humble and unpretentious.

Buildings should be simple and warm. On the outside, the building sets up an elementary volume with its white plans. The main space is defined by the spatial continuity that takes us from the street to the  quartz rock, left naked. First, the entrance portico. Next, the churchyard-patio flanked by the two ramps and the community center sidewings. At the end, the church itself – unexpectedly glazed and transparent. Finally, the outdoor patio built with the existing rock, the air, the zenithal light, water and plants. An exterior space open to contemplation.

The church’s assembly room has an almost square plan. The altar is also a square table. These static and centered shapes allow us to fill that this celebration is presided and performed by a willing congregation. The extreme simplicity of the space, the architectural form and the objects’ design, create a space of freedom where the protagonists are the people and the events. Architecture should stage the minimum in the most intense way.

Photos:  FG+SG – Fotografia de Arquitectura




AREA: 3 050 m2

COST: 2 776 000.00 €

CLIENT: Fábrica da Igreja Paroquial da Freguesia da Sé

TEAMWORK: Inês Lobo, João Maria Trindade, Flávio Barbini, Maria João Barbini, Luís Barros, Filipe Homem, Paula Miranda, Susana Rato, Pedro Ricciardi, João Manuel Alves, Inês Cortesão, Joanna Malitzki, architects; Andreia Salavessa, Julieta Cunha, Sandra Macieira, trainees; Nuno Pinto, João Rosário, graphic modelling.

FOUNDATIONS AND STRUCTURE: AFA consultores de engenharia–António Adão da Fonseca

WATER, DRAINAGE AND GAS INSTALLATIONS: AFA consultores de engenharia – Paulo Silva

MECHANICAL INSTALATIONS: AFA consultores de engenharia –Isabel Sarmento


ELECTRICAL INSTALLATIONS, TELECOMUNICATIONS AND SECURITY: AFA consultores de engenharia –Alexandre Martins and Fernando Aires.