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Creative Architecture

The description we can find in the dictionary on the word, architecture, says: “Art of construction that simultaneously deals with the functional constructive and aesthetic aspects of buildings and constructions” (Porto: Porto Editora, 2003-2019).

It’s a valid definition, but for several projects that have been built lately in Portugal, it is insufficient. Portugal is full of talented architects, with a lot of creativity and courage to not do what is already usual and comfortable. Across the country, buildings are emerging that defy the law of gravity, or that fit perfectly into their surroundings, with particular concern for energy certification.



We have several buildings with many utilities, like chapels, residences, and museums. The Algarve region is no exception, we found in the least expected places, works of art in the form of buildings.


Casa Carrara in Lagos, Luz by Mário Martins Atelier

Casa Carrara stands out from its environment, the predominant white colour throughout the house and the marble contrasting with the blue of the Atlantic Ocean, stands out for everyone.

The straight lines frame the property, or according to the architect, frame the view from the inside to the outside of the house. The property seems to be carved from a rough block, resulting in a house full of interesting nooks, with rectilinear shapes through which the inhabitants can pass without restrictions.

The pools are part of the postcard that makes this house known for private housing. One of the swimming pools is suspended and infinite in shape, the other is downstairs with a private ambiance, but also with an external character. See the pictures from this winning house by the Architizer A + Awards, here.


Photography: Fernando Guerra
Architect: Mário Martins


Capela do Monte in Lagos, Barão de São João by Álvaro Siza Vieira

It was commissioned by a Swiss couple living in the Algarve for 30 years, to the winner of the Pritzker award. It is a chapel that is set in the middle of a 7-hectare estate, which in no way resembles the typical Christian chapels. In contrast to the chapels we know of the Christian religion, it is of simple lines and the interior equally simple, conveying the idea of fullness with the objects necessary to complete it. The interior has pale wood furniture and tile panels with modern figures allusive to the biblical scenes. The cross itself, designed and made by Álvaro Siza Vieira, is made of light wood with a unique shape.

To visit, it can only be reached by foot, and must book through this link. To see images of this building nominated for a Contemporary Architecture award from European Union Mies Van Der Rohe 2019, follow this link.


Photography: João Morgado
Architect: Álvaro Siza Vieira


Casa Messines in São Bartolomeu de Messines, by Vítor Vilhena

Far from the major tourist centres, we find Casa Messines. Inserted in the purest Algarve, among the vegetation, we can visualize a white house, with contemporary lines. In this house the natural light is the main guest, because of the privileged east / west layout of the house, it allows light all day. To receive this light, the living area has huge windows from which you can see the entire line of the Algarve mountains.

On the terrace we have a suspended pool, which is naturally heated by the sun and has a 360 ° view. Still on the terrace we find a totally different note, contrasting with the white and the straight lines of the house, the Santa Catarina brick. It is a terracotta coloured material, traditional and handmade in the Algarve. Watch the property video of this private house, made by the architect Vítor Vilhena, here.


Photography: João Guimarães
Architect: Vítor Vilhena


Wonderful buildings that challenge anyone's creativity aren’t only present in the Algarve. We present a house in Alentejo and another in central Portugal.


Casa 3 000 in Alcácer Do Sal, by Luís Rebelo De Andrade

This property at the time of presentation was immediately dubbed Monopoly House for its similarities to the houses of this board game. The colour red, more precisely the RAL 3000, gave the name to the project. The architect has more discreet houses as a guiding line, but after losing his car on the 500-acre estate, he decided that the house also had to function as a geodetic landmark.

The shape of the house brings us back to the childhood drawings of simple houses with two gates, doors and windows. On the outside, it may appear simple, inside it shows a large house, with the intention to be self-sufficient. Know more about this property through this link.


Photography: João Guimarães – JG Photography
Architect: Rebelo de Andrade


Casa Rotativa in Coimbra, by Pedro Bandeira/ Pierrot Le Fou

The project of this house was made by 6 hands. Pedro Bandeira / Pierrot Le Fou were in charge of the architectural project, but the mechanism for the house to turn was made by the owner with the profession of engineer. The house takes between 6 and 16 minutes to make a 360° turn, all depending on the sun.

Environmental concern has always been present since the beginning of this project, but due to the uniqueness of the work itself, they are not awarded an energy certificate. This is a unique house that can turn whenever you want and is nominated for the EU Mies van der Rohe 2019 award. Find out more about this house, here.


Photography: Paulo Catrica
Architect: Pedro Bandeira/ Pierrot Le Fou


Casas do Barlavento, as a real estate company, is always aware of new architectural projects, whether they are more functional or more artistic. Get inspired by our suggestions here.