Casa Azul by Core Architects

Casa Azul is a contemporary residence located in Loulé, Portugal, designed in 2021 by Core Architects.

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Casa Azul, emerges into view when driving up the oleander lined drive. The ambition of the project was to create a bold contemporary mansion which referenced and evolved the prevalent typology. The design shows to become part of the distinguished context and represents the desired architectural spirit in solidity and grandeur.

The clients wished to build a contemporary home that would fit perfectly into the steep sloped landscape and seamlessly connect to the existing house. The new extension would allow for clients private use, while the old house would be rented to tourists. The extension follows the legal constrain for single building on the plot, but simultaneously provides a separate entrance and the possibly of using the new build as a private detached house. This “detached” feel was achieved by connecting the old house with the new by a corridor and placing the office between both buildings.

Designed along the old grown Olive & Citrus trees, the walls to the north west act the same time as protecting shields against the predominant north west winds. Set in a remarkable landscape, the house aims to nestle and continue to be subservient to its surroundings.

As a critical element to client’s brief, the home is built to Passivehaus standards. Designed for passive solar gains the building features airtight construction, ecological materials throughout, solar panels, advanced window technology with exceptionally low U-value of 0.85 – allowing this home to be a genuinely sustainable development.

The articulation and architecture of the house is carefully controlled in a rhythmical and repetitive composition. This approach results in a defined arrangement of distinct volumes, expressive of the plan within. The unconventional ground plan is pushed and pulled to create a series of visually interconnected spaces in plan and in section. The downstairs is linked via a concrete stairwell where 2 en-suite bedrooms and associated dressing room benefit from dual aspect views to the garden front and the voided living space.

The upper floor features spacious open plan living spaces oriented towards the south and provide a strong connection between indoor and outdoor living.

The rooms are characterized by tangential walls, specific calculated roof overhangs and clever placed vertical shading elements which determine solar gains and shaded areas throughout the different seasons.

Photography courtesy of Core Architects

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- by Matt Watts