Architect Mário Martins, founder of Mário Martins Atelier, has been molding the contemporary structures of western Algrave, Portugal for the past 20 years. Martins latest addition to the Algrave’s rolling landscape is the Villa Escarpa, a rectangular white structure suspended from the hillside that was inspired by the Bauhaus movement. The Bauhaus philosophy was founded on the principal that form should follow function, while all other distractions and decoration should be avoided. Martins relates to this philosophy and wanted the space to be understood for its purity.
The pairing of architect and client could not have been more perfect for the Villa Escarpa. In this case, the client and Martins shared very similar definitions of “modern” and “statement living”, which gave the architect a clear direction for the design of the home. Martins believes that modern design can be achieved through several overriding principles – clean, straight lines, simple uncluttered spaces and a mix of natural and industrial materials.
The Villa Escarpa hangs from the hilltop, overlooking the crashing waves that smash against the cliffs that line the pretty village of Praia da Luz. The luxurious villa constitutes pure white lines, open floor plans and easy indoor-outdoor flow, combined with an abundance of glass for the owners to admire the oceanfront vistas.
The site of the villa has been landscaped with olive, fig, and almond trees, which were planted to preserve the natural surroundings of the National Ecological Reserve within which the property sits.
As an architectural showpiece, Martins cleverly designed the villa to maximize light and space. The stunning house offers five bedrooms, living areas, stylish kitchen with top appliances, private screening room, games area and a 4-car garage. The main spaces were constructed with glass walls that fully open up to the outside world.
The bottom level of the two-story rectangular home is severed down the center with a rectangular pool. Martins situated the pool in a high traffic location, a logical choice when it comes to the path of the sun, but also a place where the home owners would be hosting parties and entertaining guests.
Martins incorporated the small body of water into the layout of the home by including a series of steps that cross over the pool. Here, party guests would be able to grab a few bites in the open kitchen, then walk across the pool, and onto the terrace to admire the views.
Inside, Martins idea of “modern” is further expressed with a cool and neutral color palate that reflects the pristine atmosphere contrasted sometimes with edgy, unique and bold design accents. Unique and minimalistic furniture pieces are scattered throughout the villa with abstract canvased artwork as a backdrop.
Style, elegance and practicality are embedded into the design, combining crisp architecture, luxurious appointments and functionality that make the Villa Escarpa.
Strikingly sleek, this ultra-modern villa redefines the expectations of Algarve real estate by being family-friendly yet über-stylish. Inspired by the streamlined Bauhaus aesthetics, the luxurious villa enjoys pure white lines, open floor plans and easy indoor-outdoor flow, combined with an abundance of glass.
All images: © Fernando Guerra
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