If you’ve ever wondered where port comes from, wonder no more. In northern Portugal, the majestic Douro Valley region is a stunning area devoted to the protected vineyards that produce port wine. In 2001 it was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, so no doubt it will continue to provide plenty of natural splendor for visitors looking to relax and take in the world.
It’s here that one couple were looking to create their perfect holiday home. As founders of MJARC Architects, they poured their heart and soul into making it the perfect showcase piece for their personality and talents, blending rustic charm with architectural finesse.
The architects, Maria João Andrade and Ricardo Cordeiro, were excited to work on this project. They explain that “there are only a few instances in an architectural career where a client and an architect’s vision unify into an immaculate and complete expression of art and architecture.”
The couple wanted to embrace minimalism, with a stark allure and of course to make sure that those stunning views over the valley can be enjoyed.
The resulting project, the Douro Valley House, plays with the idea of a “crouching building”, guiding the decisions of size, volume, position and how the exterior blends into the landscape around it.
After months of design and development, the finished house stands proudly in the valley. It has been shortlisted for this year’s World Architecture Festival Award.
A wraparound deck creates a space for relaxing, entertaining and seeing different parts of the valley views.
As the property was designed to work as a holiday home, the couple wanted to make sure it was suitable all year round, from spring right through to winter. Additionally, it’s designed to be just as good for a simple weekend away for the two of them, as well as long warm welcome getaways with lots of family and friends. The deck makes this floor suitable for indoor to outdoor entertainment, a flexible and spacious area.
In the interiors, like the bathroom and bedroom we’re treated with uniquely fitted furniture that plays on geometric shapes to feel low key futuristic. While Instagram is all about round mirrors it’s interesting to see the sharp lines and funky silhouettes that liven up the room.
It’s hard for the couple of choose their favorite between rooms and the swimming pool, as they feel like both areas capture their creativity.
Using woodlike patterns, the building’s siding mimics trees and natural elements to blend in with the topography. At night there are support beams which light up, which looks striking!
For MJARC Architects, the project has been a joy to work on and they look forward to seeing the results of the World Architecture Awards later this year. Until then, we can only imagine they’ll be soaking up the views of the valley and sipping on a nice glass of port!
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