One-of-a-kind Weekend Retreat Embedded Between Two Natural Ponds

Some of the most inspiring and timeless architectural creations come from a desire to work in harmony with nature and to take advantage of the topography, landscape and views in the best way possible. Such a marvelous creation was a weekend family retreat designed and built by architecture studio Carvalho Araújo. The building was erected on a steeply sloped site from Peneda-Gerês National Park in the Northern part of Portugal. There are two naturally-formed ponds on the site: one at the top of the hillside and one at the bottom. They’re connected by a stream.

The house is a harmonious blend of concrete, steel and glass and has a large, cantilevered wooden volumeThe house is a harmonious blend of concrete, steel and glass and has a large, cantilevered wooden volumeThe concrete base and overall frame give the house a robust look with very clean and well-defined linesThe concrete base and overall frame give the house a robust look with very clean and well-defined linesThe house is positioned between the two natural ponds and makes the most of its unique surroundingsThe house is positioned between the two natural ponds and makes the most of its unique surroundings

The house takes the place of an old structure which used to sit at the top of the site. That building was demolished and a new one was built in its place, better positioned and equipped to withstand the occasional landslides occurring in the area. A good and organization relation between the house and the land was crucial and all the efforts of the architects went into making it possible. They managed that by taking advantage of the steep slopes and the mesmerizing views and by embedding the house into the site and allowing the volumes to cantilever.

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The steep slope meant that the house had to be embedded into the site and this gives it a lot of characterThe steep slope meant that the house had to be embedded into the site and this gives it a lot of characterThe entryway is located at the top of the hill which puts the driveway at roof levelThe entryway is located at the top of the hill which puts the driveway at roof level
The spectacular views are maximized throughout the house in all sorts of magnificent waysThe spectacular views are maximized throughout the house in all sorts of magnificent waysinstead of a series of volumes with individual functions, the client requested large, multipurpose spacesinstead of a series of volumes with individual functions, the client requested large, multipurpose spacesThe house was designed to be a hybrid between a leisure and a work environmentThe house was designed to be a hybrid between a leisure and a work environmentThe interior design puts an emphasis on simplicity and natural materials, finishes and colorsThe interior design puts an emphasis on simplicity and natural materials, finishes and colorsA wood-paneled ceiling and wooden furniture balances the decor of this bedroom, adding a warm touchA wood-paneled ceiling and wooden furniture balances the decor of this bedroom, adding a warm touchThe guest bedroom is framed in wood entirely with the exception of the windowsThe guest bedroom is framed in wood entirely with the exception of the windowsThe lighting throughout the spaces is always meant to feel natural, without highlighting the actual fixturesThe lighting throughout the spaces is always meant to feel natural, without highlighting the actual fixturesThis is indeed a one-of-a-kind project, all thanks to the unique conglomerate of awesome landscape featuresThis is indeed a one-of-a-kind project, all thanks to the unique conglomerate of awesome landscape features

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