With a hillside location offering panoramic views of Vale da Lama, in the Lagos area of the Algarve, Portugal, Casa Zauia by Mario Martins Atelier seems especially built for contemplation. The overall design of the residence was partially dictated by the building restrictions in the area; its final shape inspires lightness and modern simplicity: “The house seems to rise out of the ground and nestle in the landscape. However, due to the sloping nature of its physical support, it appears to be unattached and emerges on graceful pillars, reducing the effect of the natural vegetation growing under it”, explained the architects.
Resembling a white horizontal box, Casa Zauia opens up towards the surrounding landscape through long, continuous glazing. A south-facing terrace, protected from the powerful sun rays during the summer, offers opportunities for outdoor socializing. The layout of the house reinforces the idea of a contemporary shelter where family interaction is encouraged: “The one-level building and has four bedrooms with en suite bathrooms, toilet, kitchen with support areas, office and living room opening on to a spacious veranda/partly-covered patio, which is part of the front terrace adjoining all rooms. The pool, rectangular and elegant, is the continuation of a water mirror which pours out of the supporting wall made of exposed concrete.” Like usual, we would love to know your thoughts on this modern home design in Portugal! [Photography by Fernando Guerra]
An example of a huge success is Heneghan Peng Architects’ Giant’s Causeway Visitors’ Centre in Antrim, Northern Ireland. Using the large difference in level across the site, the architects created two folds in the landscape. Bold, but not conflicting with the rather bleak natural environment, these folds draw all the man-made areas together and create one fitting man-made break in the natural landscape. In the words of the architects themselves, There is no longer a building and a landscape, but building becomes landscape and the landscape itself remains spectacular and iconic
These days, a building doesnt just have to look good, it should ideally be good for the environment too. A great example of sustainability spliced with style from the past few years is the M&S store at Cheshire Oaks Retail Park in Ellesmere Port, designed by Aukett Fitzroy Robinson.