Portuguese National Park House

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2 B 324 Aq 03 Praia Grande House∏richard John Seymour 13 Lg
All photos courtesy Richard John Seymour

Located between pine trees in Portugal's Sintra-Cascais Natural Park, Atelier Data recently built the Praia Grande house, complete with five, interconnected volumes and a swimming pool that looks like a natural pond.

"There was a big effort to contain the built mass of the house between the existing trees," says Atelier Data architect Rafael Gomes in a statement to Dezeen. "Naturally, this pushed us for an early forecast of the house because we needed to understand the full impact of shading areas, constraints in visual relations and limitations of space that all this would generate. This involved understanding exactly which trees were healthy enough to be sustainable, and after that study, how should construction work to preserve them — from start to finish."

2 G 324 Aq 31 Praia Grande House∏richard John Seymour 29 Lg

Each of the home's volumes has a different purpose and is connected by narrow corridors. For example, the kitchen is located in the entrance- rectangular building, which sits next to a larger volume that serves as the house's main living area.

Furthest from the living room, the ensuite bedrooms sit at opposite ends from each other in two square buildings. The fifth and final volume was placed next to the entrance and holds an office. The two bedroom buildings both have their own patios, which allows them access to the swimming pool.

2 D 324 Aq 24 Praia Grande House∏richard John Seymour 59 Lg

All five volumes were organized in a semicircle so that the swimming pool, which resembles a natural pond, could be located in the empty, center space of the home.

Featuring raw, earthy materials, the walls, floors and wooden elements of the house were all built with non-toxic materials. "The walls were painted with 100% natural paints; the floor was finished without using any chemical varnish; and the wooden elements are from sustainable harvest processes and have been protected with products totally free of formaldehyde," says Gomes.

Apart from the use of non-toxic materials, other ecological principles were implemented during the construction process of this home. These principles include structures made of sustainably resourced wood and a facade that ensures durability and ventilation. 

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