Casa da Malaca by Mario Martins Atelier

Designed in 2012 by Mario Martins Atelier, this contemporary two-story house is situated in Sargaçal, Lagos, Portugal.


The design of this new house was based on a pre-existing, somewhat uninteresting construction which was not fit for habitation, although it did have interesting stone walls.

The main floor of the house sits on a stone wall, on the upper part of the land. This has three bedrooms and an office which is reached through a generously lit corridor.

A lower space rises naturally from the natural characteristics of the physical support, “sandwiched” by the stone wall, where there is the main entrance to a full-height area, with a living room next to an open kitchen. This communal area opens out to a glass wall that goes down to the ground with a view of the countryside, which still has a rural atmosphere.

The house has been redesigned with a contemporary language, but using a scale, forms, elements and materials present in the local architecture. The intention is primarily to reach a compromise between the vernacular architecture and a modern design, which is simple with a quiet presence and where the natural vegetation, of almond and carob trees typical of the Algarve countryside, predominates.

And so the forms are discreet and the materials are natural: the stone on the walls and all the floors, the visible concrete and the white walls that reflect the intense and constant Algarve sun.

Photography courtesy of Mario Martins Atelier

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- by Matt Watts