Casa M is a climate-sensitive residence in Portugal’s Algarve

by Editorial Team

A sample of cement blocks poetically punctuate Casa M’s exterior, a house which stands sentinel on a hill in Alvor, a seaside village of Algarve. The Portuguese area has over 300 days of solar per yr, which makes it difficult to design houses with out the AC unit – a bête noire of green-minded architects. One pure cooling tactic – widespread in Palm Springs and São Paulo, too – is cobogós, the hole bricks that permit cool air to permeate an area with out exposing it to the solar. 

(Picture credit score: Alexander Bogorodskiy)

Casa M: an architect couple’s climate-sensitive residence

The house’s homeowners and designers, husband and spouse Luis Fonseca and Inês Almeida, positioned LED lights between the cobogós and the home windows encasing them. The impact shocked them: when turned on at evening, the mirrored mild contained in the blocks illuminated the interiors like wall lamps. From the road, the white-washed, minimalist residence glows like a magical lantern.  

man drawing curtain to terrace on sunny day at Casa M

(Picture credit score: Alexander Bogorodskiy)

Fonseca and Almeida, companions and designers at native studio A-lab Structure, maximised a number of different alternatives when designing their single-family townhouse that was accomplished in August 2023. One such alternative arose from their longitudinal L-shaped lot, wedged between two different residential constructions on an incline. 

kids playing in terrace at Casa M against blue skies and wind blowing off curtain

(Picture credit score: Alexander Bogorodskiy)

The couple created a design that spreads throughout three tales however makes use of half-floors and mirrors, creating visibility between rooms while you’re utilizing the steps. Fonseca described this as permitting for stunning moments all through the day, interactions that at all times make relations really feel like they’re in one another’s firm (the couple reside there with their two youngsters).  

clean minimalist interior in Casa M in Portugal

(Picture credit score: Alexander Bogorodskiy)

The steps’ stacking impact additionally generates pure air flow, beginning on the floor degree, the place the ocean breeze enters and travels up by way of the open skylight within the inside courtyard. Throughout summer season, solar through the skylight is tempered with exterior shading, whereas passive photo voltaic power heats the house in winter. Such issues showcase the couple’s ardour for sustainable dwelling. 

winding staircase inside Casa M

(Picture credit score: Alexander Bogorodskiy)

‘We designed this home to be a case research for what we predict luxurious dwelling is,’ Fonseca says, as he ready lunch with greens his son had fetched on the market that morning. ‘Individuals affiliate luxurious with a jacuzzi on the roof and chilly air-conditioning blasting [set using] their cellphone earlier than they even get residence. We’re believers in passive structure.’  

geometric staircase in white inside Casa M

(Picture credit score: Alexander Bogorodskiy)

As well as, the drawing of acoustic curtains throughout chosen areas permits for partitioning and local weather management. For instance, the kids can create a play space on the veranda by separating it from the kitchen, or the adults can create a extra cinematic movie-watching expertise (and lure within the warmth of the fireside in winter) with out waking the kids by closing off the lounge.

woman under shower on terrace of minimalist house Casa M

(Picture credit score: Alexander Bogorodskiy)

After spending time within the residence – the butterfly chair on the veranda overlooking the fishing boats is a selected spotlight – it begins to really feel a bit like being in a type of drawings of a dollhouse lower in half. Lovely moments unfold as simply as the home does. However maybe nothing compares to the fishing boats’ view at evening: the white residence on the hill, lit up in all its chiaroscuro, sustainable glory. 

Supply: Wallpaper

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