Live Between Four Pools In This Portugese Riviera, National Park-Set Retreat
Want to live amidst tourist-worthy greenery – but not in a refuge or tent? This luxury residence in the Portugese Riviera is surrounded by the Sintra Cascais National Park, the premier Oitaros Dunes golf course and an abundance of crystal-clear pools. Soaring overhead on entrance and lying flat beside guests, four exterior pools create a modern moat around this concrete and wooden gem, a modern contrast to its natural surroundings. Simple block furniture gives space to winding wooden staircases, glass-walled corridors and designer slats, making this 1,100sqm home of four bedrooms and five bathrooms part abode, part ultra-relaxing retreat.
As we first enter, our eyes meet pools – both above and below the first storey. Framed in metal and wood, their glass bottoms provide a feeling of serenity, which is easily achieved by relaxing in one of the first storey’s block sofas. Wooden plank decks hold white acrylic tables and chairs for a day time feast, while a flurry of teal chairs bring in more colour and prepare for dinner. Open walls bring in the Sintra Cascais National Park, a visual appetizer set on Lisbon’s scenic Estoril Coast. A set of wooden slats and winding staircases nestled in green walls let us know there’s more in store.
At every turn, green surrounds the home, reminding us of its National Park location. Juxtaposed with the home’s thick concrete, wild grasses push up dandelions. Sides of windows reveal lush pockets of grass and wide walking trails, as tall trees make a natural frame. As wooden beams create exterior corridors, creepers line the ground beneath. Even the street number carves its way into a manicured hedge, as mown lawns offer little sand patches for raking, Japanese-style.
Concrete ridges structure the home’s intersecting pools, creating a feeling of zen. Soaring over the first floor in a series of beams, they provide shelter to eating spaces while keeping the main area open. Holding glass-bottomed swimming pools within their sturdy frames, they add an industrial touch softened by the expansive blue sky, National Park trees and never-ending sources of green. During sunlight, sun shines through the glass bottoms and onto the pool beneath, illuminating the spiral staircase to the garage and berry-filled green walls. At night, the pools light up their centre through beaming LEDs, a visual spectacle made even more striking by a view of the stars and comforting concrete wall frames.
Green pokes its nose through the home in surprising spots. Leading along the exterior’s wooden planks, a veritable lawn surrounds the driveway’s concrete squares, as trees pop their heads over concrete plinths. A tree grows through wooden planks at the entrance, a feature carefully manicured by metal-grate hedges. To the side of the home, a small space in sand provides room for a sapling.
Green makes its presence known in the exterior’s layout, too. Lush lawns fill the space between the main pool area and interior living rooms. Forming a border, green plains and trees separate what is National Park from what is Wall House, our luxury residence. Before the main entrance, taller trees shadow the view, providing a stunning landscape with a hint more privacy. A tree at the entrance marks a strong pillar, foreshadowing the strong concrete beams that make this house a modern home.
Wooden rafters provide a style staple between the concrete beams. Simultaneously shedding light and shading from the sun, they skyrocket over the top of first and second level living areas. On the top level, navy block lounges retain their colour, as wooden beams provide shelter with a view. The main pool area criss-crosses swimmers in large concrete beam reflections and a dazzling array of thin rafter shadows, visible in patterns on the deck.
The thick concrete structures of the home ensure its space is made open, too. L-shaped pool openings offer an easy entrance point from a round of golf, or leisurely swing between the trees. A four-pillar design means wide rectangles of clear air surround the pools, offering a refreshing swim during sunrise or sunset. Looking from just inside the concrete pillars, the pools appear to float in mid-air, providing a sense of spaciousness and calm. Ceilinged only by pools, a few light-coloured rafters and the wide open sky, the home’s architecture makes it easy for its owners to cool down underneath, or soak up more of the sun, in the building’s feature pools.
Inside the interior, the design remains smart yet minimalist. A kitchen complete with island functions as the exterior does, creating ample room around its central feature. Bathed in white from top to toe, silver stools, chrome appliances and simple cupboards make food the central focus in a timeless and classic space.
Using a combination of wood, concrete and metal, the interior’s connecting spaces create design out of function. LED lights line the wooden passageways between bedrooms and living rooms, with black metal acting as a mast. Twisting down to the garage, a wood and metal spiral staircase drops into greenery, providing an inspirational view on the journey down.
Throughout the interior, the décor remains light and white. White cupboards, floors and ceilings line the hallways beside relaxation areas, made larger by glass. Topped by concrete, high glass walls provide views of the lawn and pools, forming small booths peopled by minimalist black furniture and a zebra rug. Light wood lines the floors, providing warmth, while bathroom areas keep it simple in standing glass panels, block porcelain amenities and carved-in toiletry inlets. The exterior’s wooden slats provide a design feature down the hallways, creating accordions of light through metal wine racks and across gleaming staircases.
The view out is almost as enjoyable as the view in. Twisting down to a pea-green Porsche 911, the wood and metal staircase creates shadows over luscious flower beds, a living wall and a garage in glass. Mirrored wooden staircases to the front door give glimpses of the Portugese sun through their cracks, illuminating the concrete that makes this home a modern gem. If you are looking for some serious staircase inspiration be sure to check out our post: 25 Unique Staircase Designs To Take Center Stage In Your Home.