By Marina Correa
Photography: Fernando Guerra (FG + SG); courtesy the architects
Architectural firm Humberto Conde has designed a rectilinear summer residence that dramatically contrasts its neighbours’ in the historical urban area of Parede, Portugal…
Access to the two-storey house is via an inclined ramp that shifts focus from a seemingly nondescript exterior to instantaneously engage the visitor with its open interior-scape.
A play of light and shadow animates spaces with the shifting incidence of the sun as the home is based along the east-west axis. In turn, both the bedrooms and bathrooms on the first floor receive natural light and ventilation throughout the day.
A third bedroom on the second level enjoys daylight and a strong relationship with the terrace facing the West, where a singular tree peeps up from a small enclosed simulation of courtyard and adds a touch of greenery.
As the home dialogues with nature, the living room establishes a close relationship with the garden and the swimming pool beyond. Detailing is closely attended to, where, for instance, a small patch of soil is covered in white pebbles to align with the home’s pristine white façade.
While the wooden flooring exudes warmth to an all-white shell, it also speaks volumes about the excellent juxtaposition of wood and white. Colour is gently infused through soft furnishings, functional accessories and furniture pieces.
In keeping with the overall style, minimalist design sensibilities abound with even the clean, straight lines of the furniture being hand-picked to blend in; while the whiteness of the space adds on to the almost perfectly articulated chiaroscuro elements.
Interestingly, turning the interior into a completely sealed rectangular block are fully collapsible windows that impart a strong character to the house. When open, the window panel folds in two to form an awning - making for a delightfully, differently-aligned home that in its simplicity and sleek contemporaneity, promotes a nonchalant dialogue with its surrounding area.