Casa dos Terraços, in Portugal

Casa dos Terraços is a coastal house (with sea view) settled on a slope facing South, nearby the Carvoeiro village. The original building dates from 1967 and was inhabited as a holiday home. Mainly, the concept taken on its construction reflects an organic approach in its shape and relation with the nature.

. organic portuguese architecture from the modernism time (sixties), can be seen, mostly, on the works of the architects Fernando Távora and Siza Vieira;
. the white modern curved shapes on the works of the architect Le Corbusier, like the Ronchamp Chapel (France);
. the unique organic development of natural salt pools/terraces on Pammukale (Turkey)

The big challenge was how to transform a basic holiday home on a daily family home with all the contemporary lifestyle features. The main strategy for this renewal project was based on respecting as, much as possible, the essence of the existing construction – organic, pure and white – and reinforce it with all the restoring works needed, according architectural contemporary settings.

In this house, the living experience is multidirectional and visually permeable in different geographical directions. For instance, the kitchen’s interior glassed side has a full opening frame which allows to connect the kitchen with the central patio – indoor/outdoor and the opposite – functioning as one. The crossed circulation/openings allows an efficient and healthy natural ventilation system.

The pure white layout of the house was restored by painting all the indoor/outdoor walls with rustic plaster (rough finishing). An epoxy flooring (type of micro-cement finishing) was applied on almost all the areas. The bathrooms walls/floors were tiled with handmade mosaics. The kitchen’s benches were made with micro-cement finishing. The central patio was retiled and the surrounding terraces were paved with portuguese cobblestone. A dempy storage/parking area located on the the floor -1 was converted into a unique suite of minimalist and unexpected design.

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Following the maximum white purism concept, the old red roof was replaced by a white tiled roof (with flat files – ‘lógica plana’). In a very warm summer zone, this solution (combined with natural ventilation under the roof) adds an ecological principle, refreshing the house and saving energy. The staircases leading to the terrace (on top of the living room) were replanted to the south facade, turning the inner patio on the main social living area – this house it’s built to live in a close relation with the outdoor/nature.

The garden follows the concept of Mediterranean dry garden (low maintenance). Most of the new vegetation was planted on new solid planters with several shapes. The organic line of the house was also projected on the new deck and platform which incorporates a restored pure white pool – finished in fiberglass. In front of the pool’s terrace, the old stoned support walls were reshaped on 2 big planted curved terraces (organic planters).

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