Known as Refúgio na Montaria in Portuguese (or Shelter in Montaria), this modern holiday home is situated on the site of a former ruin located on the edge of Viana do Castelo – a coastal village in northern Portugal. Designed by the firm Carvalho Araújo, the architect was inspired by the domestic water tanks that had originally supplied the local houses many years prior. Referring to the cube-like water tanks, the architect states, “Above all, they were an important meeting point, a workplace and an important symbol of community life.” The overall concept of the residence is centered around the pool which spans the roof of the concrete cube that makes up the home. “The pool has assumed particular relevance in the design, searching in its relationship with the terrain the image of the old tanks,” the architect adds. The elevated pool offers the owners of Refúgio na Montaria views over the picturesque rural landscape to the Serra d’Arga mountains.
The living spaces are nestled in the slope under the pool, offering a sheltered retreat for the house’s occupants. There is a generous living and dining area, a bedroom, and a bathroom. The rooms are grouped around a 161 square foot concealed inner courtyard that provides natural ventilation and lighting for the living spaces. Pale grey flooring, monochromatic fittings, mirrors, and large windows also help to make the space feel light and airy. Using primarily concrete and glass, the coarse, horizontal formwork texture of the façade is a suitable response to the jagged, rocky landscape surrounding the residence. With its muted, liveable color palette, Refúgio na Montaria is the perfect getaway for peace and reflection.
For more fascinating architecture, read about Roofless House located in Northern California.