Lead Architect: Luis Salgado, Maria Ferreira
Construtor: Carlos Fonseca
Text description provided by the architects. The privileged sea facing location was the starting point for the project of this single-family dwelling, located in a plot of land with a unique configuration and a smooth topography, with low vegetation which suddenly turns into a rocky cliff facing west to a wild beach of extraordinary beauty. The property is located in the protected area of the Natural Park of Southwest Alentejo and Costa Vicentina, which naturally imposed a sense of respect for the place and its natural character, which the project sought to keep as unchanged as possible.
With footprint area of 260 square meters - the same of the former house, that was in a total state of disrepair - the dwelling consists of a contemporary interpretation of the vernacular architecture of the region. This intentional mimicry is materialized through a clear, white volume with a tradition roof of hand made terracotta roof tiles. The constructive solutions and the applied materials embody a simple, unpretentious and clean line design, peacefully resting on a slice of privileged nature. From the road one sees the east façade, just another house, horizontal lines with a set of contained spans, maintaining the family’s privacy in the bedrooms area, and also the entrance door integrated in a shady void.
On the opposite facade, on the contrary, the house opens generously over the landscape to the sea, through two wide openings, torn across the width of the main room and the master suite. These large glazed plans allow the surrounding nature into the house, and also to extend the functional program of the house to the outside, whenever the weather permits.
The platform and the pergola along this facade, configure the traditional porch space of rural houses in the South, which evolves throughout the day into a space for living, dining, or simply contemplating the nature. Inside, the house has a very contemporary feel arranged around the large room, which is the core space of the home, bringing together the functions of cooking, dining and living.
The open kitchen, the two-sided fireplace in the centre of the space, the large ceiling height, and the visual relationship with the outside provide a space of enormous dynamics throughout the different moments of the day. In addition to this central room, the dwelling consists of five bedrooms, three of which are en suite, a common bathroom, powder room, as well as garage and storage space. With regard to constructive solutions, emphasis is placed on the woodwork that structures the roof, and whose design seeks to balance the traditional roof construction techniques, with a new scale and spatiality, broader and more ambitious from the structural point of view, overcoming the great gap without vertical structural elements. With regard to constructive solutions, emphasis is placed on the woodwork that structures the roof, and whose design seeks to balance the traditional roof construction techniques, with a new scale and spatiality, broader and more ambitious from the structural point of view, overcoming the great gap without vertical structural elements.
All the carpentry elements of the roof (frameworks, trusses with a singular design and lining in wooden strips), the interior doors and cabinets, painted in a light grey colour, give a particular spatiality to the common areas, be it the ground floor room or the mezzanine room, reinforcing the traditional and contemporary character of this space. The entire floor on the ground floor is made of smoothed concrete, both inside and outside, giving great continuity between the various spaces. In the attic, the floor is made of Riga wood, giving a different level of comfort to the living room, bedrooms and sanitary facilities on this floor.