Yard House
Paulo Baptista

Yard House

Mário Martins Atelier as Architects

The Yard House was designed as a permanent home in the historical center of Lagos in the Algarve – Portugal. The intention was to contribute to the regeneration and dynamic of this very important area of the old town. We have created a new house to replace an old and uninteresting building which was in a complete state of ruin. The building was not a good candidate for restoration and so a new building was the best solution. The new property was built in a narrow but deep space, occupying exactly the same space of the pre-existing house. The yard at the rear of the house, adjacent to the city wall is a really interesting space and, although an outside space, it forms the heart of the house and enriches the architectural solution. The ground floor is a fluid space with the living room, dining area and kitchen opening to the garden yard and the old city wall. The yard comes into the house to become part of its atmosphere. The swimming pool attached to the white volume of the building increases the intimacy of the courtyard, where the strong sun light is filtered by the trees and by the shadow of the city wall. This is an unexpected landscaped area in a dense and organic part of the town. The house, with a simple street facade is composed by two floors. The first floor, accessed by steel steps from the living room, is composed by two bedrooms with private bathrooms and office.The volume, verticality and metric of the spans, together with the alignments and dark stone in contrast with white plaster, are bonding elements with the dense urban surroundings. The contemporary nature is revealed by sobriety and rigor of the design. From this compromise between the past and the present results a house that blends into the historic center where the space is notoriously limited. The house is nothing more than a small piece of the city’s living organism.

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