A Zig-Zagging Portuguese Holiday Home

On the dramatic hillside landscape overlooking Serra da Estrla, Portugal’s highest mainland point, architects Camarim designed a split-level zig zag holiday home that mirrors the surrounding topography.

Prioritizing space, open flow and silence – in contrast to the clients’ busy everyday lives in London – the architects sought to balance the landscape with the agricultural nature and traditional architecture of the region. “Our strategy,” they explain, “was to interfere as little as possible: one enters the house in the upper part of the plot, through a wall that evokes the region’s traditional slate buildings, and descends onto the house’s core – a social space split in two levels.” Every room in the house connects directly to the outdoors, and the home’s patio and wooden shutters are both insulating and protective of the residents’ privacy.

"Our strategy was to interfere as little as possible."
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All images © Nelson Garrido, courtesy of Camarim

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