Architect: Nico and Werner van der Meulen
The Algarve Residence is located in the Algarve region of southern Portugal on a private estate with its own private beach.
The client’s brief required a contemporary energy-efficient home with as many views as possible of the Gulf of Cadiz. This required that the home and guest house should face south, which in this area is the direction of the sea.
According to the building regulations, the house had to be situated on the footprints of ancient ruins, which to some extent determined the shape of the building. Due to the height restriction, both the house and the guest house were designed with extensive basements, using lightwells to ventilate and supply natural light. This also helps to regulate the temperatures in the building due to the natural cooling effect of the soil.
Steel detailing was used for sun control and creates a further dimension to the façade of the house.
The architects’ design decisions were based on the area, climate, and circumstances of the site. Combined with the client’s brief, the eventual design was heavily based on horizontal lines as can be seen in the louvre details that highlight the structure, contrasting it with vertical structural elements.
The horizontal lines of steel are also notable on different sides of the house where they partially cover the glass that would have otherwise been exposed to the sun. The steel acts as both decoration for the façade of the house, as well as substituting screens to provide privacy for the occupants, while still allowing light through.
The interior of the building contains a kitchen, living/dining area, atelier, cinema room, storeroom, laundry room, clay room, technical room, an indoor kids pool, gym room, yoga area, two atria, two bathrooms, two bedrooms, and a triple door garage, all situated on the basement level.
The ground floor contains six bedrooms, all en-suite, with one of the bedrooms also containing a walk-in closet. Attached to one of the bedrooms is a playroom.
Lastly, the first floor has a kitchen, dining room, large living area, bathroom, and library. Outside, a large deck stretches out to the front and sides of the building with various scattered dining and lounging areas.