Spotlight on Portugal: 7 Epic Modern Spaces

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By Dwell and Annie Fleming / Published by Dwell
With its serene beauty, we believe that Portugal is a must-see destination for all design lovers. Whether you want a beach-side villa, a rustic apartment, or a contemporary pad, you will find it all in this exquisite country.

Check out some of our favorite modern Portuguese spots below.

Spotlight on Portugal: 7 Epic Modern Spaces - Photo 1 of 7 - Known for long stretches of Mediterranean coastline, dramatic cliffs, and golf resorts, the southernmost region of Portugal has been a popular holiday destination since the ‘60s. A more relaxed alternative to tourist favorites, the resort town of Praia da Luz has a seat in western Algarve, offering sandy beaches and a thriving community of British expats. The open kitchen, dining, and living area boasts high ceilings above and natural stone tiles below. Sliding glass doors lead to the outdoor patio and heated pool.

Known for long stretches of Mediterranean coastline, dramatic cliffs, and golf resorts, the southernmost region of Portugal has been a popular holiday destination since the ‘60s. A more relaxed alternative to tourist favorites, the resort town of Praia da Luz has a seat in western Algarve, offering sandy beaches and a thriving community of British expats. The open kitchen, dining, and living area boasts high ceilings above and natural stone tiles below. Sliding glass doors lead to the outdoor patio and heated pool.

Spotlight on Portugal: 7 Epic Modern Spaces - Photo 2 of 7 - A coastal city built on seven hills, Lisbon’s charm is undeniable. Portugal’s capital is the second oldest in Europe after Athens and offers historic treasures ranging from the Moorish architecture of the Alfama district to the pastéis de Belém, a custard pastry whose recipe is known by only three people in the world. Nestled in Lisbon’s downtown, the 13 apartments of Baixa House match the city’s charisma, providing travelers a more authentic experience of living in Lisbon. Campo Grande, a two-bedroom on the fourth floor, has a long balcony that curves around the corner of Rua dos Fanqueiros and Rua da Conceição.

A coastal city built on seven hills, Lisbon’s charm is undeniable. Portugal’s capital is the second oldest in Europe after Athens and offers historic treasures ranging from the Moorish architecture of the Alfama district to the pastéis de Belém, a custard pastry whose recipe is known by only three people in the world. Nestled in Lisbon’s downtown, the 13 apartments of Baixa House match the city’s charisma, providing travelers a more authentic experience of living in Lisbon. Campo Grande, a two-bedroom on the fourth floor, has a long balcony that curves around the corner of Rua dos Fanqueiros and Rua da Conceição.

Spotlight on Portugal: 7 Epic Modern Spaces - Photo 3 of 7 - The residence is characterized by townhouses of two floors with about 40m2 each and two backyards. Illustrated by very small and compartmentalized spaces, the main challenge of these houses is the adaptation to a contemporary experience, and the need for larger spaces with a relationship with the outside. The project was developed based on an organizational principle of hierarchy. Each floor corresponds to a particular program so that the areas could be exploited to the maximum, generating spaces with quality.  

The residence is characterized by townhouses of two floors with about 40m2 each and two backyards. Illustrated by very small and compartmentalized spaces, the main challenge of these houses is the adaptation to a contemporary experience, and the need for larger spaces with a relationship with the outside. The project was developed based on an organizational principle of hierarchy. Each floor corresponds to a particular program so that the areas could be exploited to the maximum, generating spaces with quality.  

Spotlight on Portugal: 7 Epic Modern Spaces - Photo 4 of 7 - Natural materials are contrasted with white surfaces. After 120 years, this Portuguese building required a little more than just a fresh coat of paint. Tiago do Vale Architects revived the 19th-century dwelling by retaining original details like wooden window frames, the traditional eave, and ceilings while updating the entire structure with a minimalist's touch.

Natural materials are contrasted with white surfaces. After 120 years, this Portuguese building required a little more than just a fresh coat of paint. Tiago do Vale Architects revived the 19th-century dwelling by retaining original details like wooden window frames, the traditional eave, and ceilings while updating the entire structure with a minimalist's touch.

Spotlight on Portugal: 7 Epic Modern Spaces - Photo 5 of 7 - House in Matosinhos is a minimal home located in Matosinhos, Portugal, created by nu.ma.  The lot, where the house is inserted, has a non-regular shape, longitudinal, and perpendicular to the street Nossa Senhora da Conceição. It was important to keep the alignment of the house with the existing buildings in order to avoid formal irregularities within the street development. The interior spatial distribution is separated by function and by floors. Due to the longitudinal nature of the lot, the architects proposed an internal yard at the center of the home to allow for natural light to enter the dining/living room and kitchen.  

House in Matosinhos is a minimal home located in Matosinhos, Portugal, created by nu.ma.  The lot, where the house is inserted, has a non-regular shape, longitudinal, and perpendicular to the street Nossa Senhora da Conceição. It was important to keep the alignment of the house with the existing buildings in order to avoid formal irregularities within the street development. The interior spatial distribution is separated by function and by floors. Due to the longitudinal nature of the lot, the architects proposed an internal yard at the center of the home to allow for natural light to enter the dining/living room and kitchen.  

Spotlight on Portugal: 7 Epic Modern Spaces - Photo 6 of 7 - Placed within the Sintra-Cascais National Park along the far west Atlantic coast of Portugal, this modern holiday home sets a contemporary tone among the pines. <br><br>Designed by Lisbon based architect Frederico Valsassina, the eye-catching horizontal silhouette is in serene balance with its rural environment. Completed in 2011, the white on white structure is composed of interconnecting spaces that focus outwards with brightly illuminated interiors that are responsive to the landscape.

Placed within the Sintra-Cascais National Park along the far west Atlantic coast of Portugal, this modern holiday home sets a contemporary tone among the pines.

Designed by Lisbon based architect Frederico Valsassina, the eye-catching horizontal silhouette is in serene balance with its rural environment. Completed in 2011, the white on white structure is composed of interconnecting spaces that focus outwards with brightly illuminated interiors that are responsive to the landscape.

Spotlight on Portugal: 7 Epic Modern Spaces - Photo 7 of 7 - Sunk into a slope beside a stream in Portugal’s Caniçada Valley, the rear of this vacation retreat’s ground floor is deeply removed from the outdoors. Fortunately, architecture firm Carvalho Araújo found a way to direct natural light into the kitchen by pairing a skylight with a double-height funnel. The narrow band provides just a modicum of illumination, but it’s a potent reminder of the scenery on high.

Sunk into a slope beside a stream in Portugal’s Caniçada Valley, the rear of this vacation retreat’s ground floor is deeply removed from the outdoors. Fortunately, architecture firm Carvalho Araújo found a way to direct natural light into the kitchen by pairing a skylight with a double-height funnel. The narrow band provides just a modicum of illumination, but it’s a potent reminder of the scenery on high.