If you've been aching for a peaceful escape that's both eco and modern, we couldn't think of a more stunning place to sit back and relax than Casa na Areia in Comporta, Grândola, Portugal. Designed by architects Aires Mateus, this gorgeous retreat takes old masonry buildings and turns them into new, contemporary structures set upon the sand. Creating a delicate balance between the natural landscape and modern architecture, Aires Mateus' design is able to evoke a poetic visual and visceral experience from its inhabitants.
Covering nearly 2,000 square feet the renovation sits upon sandy ground, built specific to the site. The heart of the renovation focused on the recovery of existing wood-masonry buildings, which provided the basis upon which the structure would be rebuilt. Each masonry building was adapted to individual rooms, while one of the two wooden volumes was converted into a two-bedroom pavilion and the other a common area. The exterior and interior wall partitions of the common space have been created with bamboo, and a natural roof tops off each of the constructions on site.
The choice to forego a traditional flooring amplifies the peaceful experience even further. The treated material has been spread as paving inside the community pavilion, infusing the spaces with a natural comfort and familiarity that would be impossible to achieve with any other floor finish. The sand also changes the scale of the interior spaces, heightening awareness and making the very act of inhabitation a very conscious one.
All Photos: © Nelson Garrido