The Alentejo region in Southern Portugal features rolling meadows dotted with pine and olive trees; Cercal House resides in this pastoral setting, in the small town of Cercal do Alentejo. Designed by Lisbon–based studio Atelier Data, the 2,691-square-foot holiday home exhibits a Mediterranean style with plenty of outdoor spaces.
The site’s unique topography inspired the architects to search for the precise position, solar orientation, and massing that would allow the new house to be in conversation with its surroundings—as well as capture the best views.
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Located next to the remains of an old building and embedded within a sloping terrain that’s intersected by a river, the house connects with its surroundings via an infinity pool, and a large patio that frames gorgeous horizontal views.
The form of the house is a manipulation of the traditional gable-house archetype with the introduction of patios and light-enhancing, spatial strategies that brighten and expand the exterior and interior spaces.
The house has an exposed roof structure that connects the interiors to the sky. At the heart of its squarish floor plan is an open-plan living room, dining room, and kitchen that lead out toward a large porch and an outdoor deck with a swimming pool. Sliding windows and barn-like shutters that disappear into the walls frame stunning views of the scenery.
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When opened, the polished concrete floors inside continue out towards the deck and the infinity pool, which follow the contour lines of the landscape.
Harmonizing the rustic character of Alentejo’s rural dwellings with contemporary, minimalist elements, and drawing in views of both sky and horizon, Cercal House is a home that makes the best of its rugged, pastoral context.