Architecture: Ricardo Bak Gordon
Collaboration: Francesca Petrin, João Bagão, Nuno Costa
Site location: Boliqueime, Loulé
Construction: Manuel Costa
Areas: 220m2 de construção
Date: Works completion in 2002
Photographs: FG+SG – Fernando Guerra
During the last forty years most of the Algarve, the southern region of Portugal, was transformed into holiday resorts. The landscape lost its character when new tourist construction grew spontaneously, without any sense of order that would have integrated the area’s cultural and scenic values. However, for centuries the Algarve’s climate, natural landscape and cultural traditions have prescribed a way of building and living that belongs to the south and is inspired by the Mediterranean.
The first house we built in the Algarve provided an opportunity to reflect on the meaning of architecture in a particular area and how to put it in perspective in the future. The house was built as a volume with orderly shapes that express its artificiality in relation to nature. Small openings connect the interior and exterior, dramatizing the relationship between views while protecting intimate spaces from the hot southern climate.
The terrace that runs along the length of the house is a space where one can spend time, and is a transitional area for adjusting to the terrain. A light structure supports reed mats that cover the terrace and provides a cool and shady space. The swimming pool is perpendicular to the house and the sea, so one can swim as if flying.