Portuguese architect Mario Martins designs a modern hillside house of great simplicity and lightness
We're seeing more and more modern and contemporary homes built in Portugal and the Algarve region in particular. One the architects that has been shaping the Algarve landscape is Mario Martins, founder of Mario Martins Atelier.
Martins's most recent project is the deceptively simple Zauia House, a modern residence situated on a hill overlooking Vale da Lama, in the Lagos area of the Algarve.
The house is built on a large property, facing east, that offers amazing views of the Alvor Estuary and Lagos Bay.
Zauia House is intended to be an architectural object of great simplicity and lightness: balanced, precise and remarkably modern. As with most of Martins's residential projects, the exterior is pure white.
The horizontal structure's transparency comes from the long, continuous glassed area, protected from the effects of the sun, which has a spacious, stunningly shaded, south-facing patio.
The modern 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.
Covered by the natural ground, there is a technical support area and a covered outdoor area for parking, next to a small service patio.
The pool, rectangular and elegant, is the continuation of a water mirror which "pours" out of the supporting wall made of exposed concrete. It has a central platform, also in concrete, as an element to separate it which is used as a deck/sitting area.
The wide edge of the pool highlights the presence of water in both in the constructed and natural environments, where the water of the bay blends into the horizon.
In an area known for its luxurious homes, Zauia House really stands out. From the white horizontal volume to the gorgeous pool, from the integration of local vegetation to the amazing Lagos Bay views, this modern house is an example of Portuguese architecture at its very best.
Photography by: Fernando Guerra [FG+SG]