© SALWORKS

White Out: Finding Pure Simplicity in Portugal’s White Homes

From Fernando Távora to Álvaro Siza, architects in Portugal have had some important moments on the center stage of the modern architecture world.

Sophia Choi Sophia Choi

The judging process for Architizer's 12th Annual A+Awards is now away. Subscribe to our Awards Newsletter to receive program updates, and stay tuned for winners announcements later this spring.  

 

From Fernando Távora to Álvaro Siza, architects in Portugal have had some important moments on the center stage of the modern architecture world that have contributed a great deal to the cultural identity of the country. Portugal’s geographic isolation has lent itself to the development of buildings that possess a simplistic elegance, free of imitations, and that embody a balance of universal influences and local tradition.

In recent years, many Portuguese architects have employed the use of clean, solid block structures across the country’s more desolate areas and rural landscapes. The volumetric forms and their minimalistic façades form a synergy with the natural environment of Portugal, with the white walls blocking natural light to create dramatic shadows across the ground. Within these white blocks, light becomes a part of the architecture, its presence bringing life to the buildings and the people that occupy them.

The following collection of Portuguese homes showcase how impactful a simple language of white orthogonal shapes can be when it comes to building striking spaces for living.

© M.AR Nuno Montenegro Architects

© M.AR Nuno Montenegro Architects

© M.AR Nuno Montenegro Architects

© M.AR Nuno Montenegro Architects

© M.AR Nuno Montenegro Architects

© M.AR Nuno Montenegro Architects

Sugarcubes by MONTENEGRO Architects Ltd., Grândola, Portugal

Located between pine trees, this ensemble of white volumes draws angles toward the sea and the Mediterranean forest. The interior spaces differ at every step with unrepeated geometries that provide a unique circulation experience for the occupants.

© SALWORKS

© SALWORKS

© SALWORKS

© SALWORKS

© SALWORKS

© SALWORKS

CASA 2M by SALWORKS, Azores, Portugal

This white volumetric home has minimal façade openings for privacy, while skylights flood the interior spaces with natural light. On the interior, the cedar wood floors juxtapose with the white walls, making the home feel warmer.

© ARX Arquitectos

© ARX Arquitectos

© ARX Arquitectos

© ARX Arquitectos

© ARX Arquitectos

© ARX Arquitectos

House in Possanco by ARX Arquitectos, Alcácer do Sal, Portugal

The House in Possanco is a unique presence on the Alentejo planes. The whiteness of the simple walls bring out an almost abstract figure against the backdrop of the surrounding environment. The asymmetric roof with beautiful skylights creates a moment of pleasant surprise.

© do mal o menos

© do mal o menos

© do mal o menos

© do mal o menos

© do mal o menos

© do mal o menos

Casa das Preguiçosas by Branco-del Rio, Coimbra, Portugal

While this home has an appearance of a single white block from the street, it is composed of two larger divisions that are connected by a shared courtyard. Simple volumes open up to plans that forge a continuous and fluid connectivity throughout the interior spaces.

© DNSJ.arq (Nuno Simões+ Sérgio Rebelo)

© DNSJ.arq (Nuno Simões+ Sérgio Rebelo)

© DNSJ.arq (Nuno Simões+ Sérgio Rebelo)

© DNSJ.arq (Nuno Simões+ Sérgio Rebelo)

© DNSJ.arq (Nuno Simões+ Sérgio Rebelo)

© DNSJ.arq (Nuno Simões+ Sérgio Rebelo)

3 Houses in Meco by DNSJ.arq (Nuno Simões+ Sérgio Rebelo), Sesimbra, Portugal

This ensemble of houses adapts to the surrounding landscape as white walls vary in height in response to existing trees, creating great views through a system of terraces. Materials for the interior spaces and furniture were carefully chosen to create a warm harmony with the white volumes.

© M2 SENOS

© M2 SENOS

© M2 SENOS

© M2 SENOS

© M2 SENOS

© M2 SENOS

BLS HOUSE by M2 SENOS, Ilhavo, Portugal

The slope and shape of the site allows a small, discrete one-floor volume to be revealed at first glance. The main entrance is covered by the top floor and this composition creates a large balcony that optimizes natural light.

© [i]da arquitectos

© [i]da arquitectos

© [i]da arquitectos

© [i]da arquitectos

© [i]da arquitectos

© [i]da arquitectos

DJ House by [i]da arquitectos, Carcavelos, Portugal

A white rectangular volume is cut away to create a variety of interior and exterior spaces. This creates a dynamic program throughout the home with a play on open, closed, private and public spaces.

The judging process for Architizer's 12th Annual A+Awards is now away. Subscribe to our Awards Newsletter to receive program updates, and stay tuned for winners announcements later this spring.  

 

Read more articles by Sophia

Aaaaarghitecture! These LEGO Haunted Houses Are Truly Terrifying

LEGO artist Mike Doyle's architectural models are incredibly detailed and undeniably creepy.

Announcing the Winners of the 2016 Das Design Competition

A jury has spoken and selected six projects as demonstrating excellence in kitchen and bath design i n the 2016 Das Design Competition. The annual awards program, sponsored by Hansgrohe/Axor, recognizes both residential and commercial projects completed within the last five years that deftly combine function and aesthetics with the brands’ various fixtures, fittings and accessories,…

+