Casa das Freiras

  • Prize
    Winner in Architectural Design - Residential
  • Company/Firm
    Mário Martins Atelier
  • Lead Designer
    Mário Martins
  • Design Team
    André Coutinho; Mariana Franco; Rita Rocha; Sónia Fialho; José Furtado; Gonçalo Guimarães; So Yeon L
  • Architect
    Mário Martins Atelier
  • Const. Company
    Marques Antunes Engenharia
  • Photo Credit
    © Fernando Guerra / FG+SG
  • Location
    Lagos, Algarve, Portugal
  • Project Date
  • Project Link

The house was built from scratch on the degraded space of a vehicle workshop. A new building appears behind a massive, powerful wall that is more than a meter thick, guarding the memories of successive occupations and that now plays the role facing onto the street. The existing wall provides ancestral tranquillity for the patio house, a common design in the surrounding area because of the long Moorish occupation.
In a more reserved area, there are 4 bedrooms that open onto the garden. A central patio is a pivotal point for the entrances, a source of natural light and mainly a privileged zone for socializing outdoors. The way that was found to show the wall’s character was through the contrasting lightness of the house, which hides and seeks shelter through the force of the wall. Therefore, large glass walls provide a tenuous frontier between the inside of the house and the garden patio, because all of this is the house.
The bare concrete covers the few remaining walls to stress the sobriety of the building and articulate it with the grey finishes, as the stone of the pavements and the plaster coat of the ceilings.