Coordinator: Dirk Mayer
Structural Engineering: Luis Canha, lda.
Constructor: Tomas Canha, lda.
Text description provided by the architects. Jardim do Mar is a small farming and fishing village on the foot of steep, 400 m high cliffs on the Southwest coast of Madeira Island. The project is situated on a Northwest facing slope, with a stunning view along the coast and to the neighboring village.
The farming landscape in this area and generally on Madeira Island consists of terraces, supported by basalt stone walls made of loose rocks of various, sometimes very impressive sizes. The plot for this project is small and L-shaped and includes 2 terraces with a difference in height of about 3m. The access is difficult, material had to be carried up 50m by hand and no bigger machines could be brought on site.
For those reasons, maintaining the existing wall and the character of the rural landscape and trying to create as little impact and earth movement as possible was not only a formal choice but also an economic necessity.
The task was to create two small Studios.The lower apartment consists of an open space with a small kitchen, dining table, sitting area and bed, almost completely open to the view of the bay. The existing basalt stone wall in the back was left natural in the interior of the bathroom, showing some huge rocks and growing moss and succulents.
The upper apartment has a double ceiling height where a stair leads up to the bed on the mezzanine, from where the opening under the gabled roof gives the most dramatic view of the coast. The stair, a small kitchen, a storage cupboard and a table where blended into one piece of furniture in an effort to make the most use of the limited area on the main floor.
A small pool consisting of two circles was integrated in a piece of a lower terrace that was purchased at a later stage; the gardens with organic farming of subtropical fruit, herbs for cooking and vegetables can be used by the guests.