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A Tropical Home in Portugal

April Kennedy April Kennedy
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Today we will travel to the coast of Portugal where we will explore a tropical home in the Foz do Douro region. The area receives warm, balmy weather and abundant rains. The vegetation surrounding the home is lush, tropical and a little wild.

But while many a designer might seek to frame the natural views, Karst Architects have completely embraced the wild, tropical nature of the space and allowed it to inform their design. The home has been opened up to the elements through a series of tall windows, a glass floor and a glass roof. By integrating the ever-changing nature of the garden, they have created a little oasis.

The relationship between the interior and exterior spaces is also made a little looser by the varying shapes and levels of the multilevel home. The mezzanines and walkways raise the eyes upwards and the upper levels almost evoke the feel of a forest canopy. But before we reveal too much, come with us as we tour this tropical home. We hope you enjoy the journey.

A Curvy Facade

The natural, approach is most clearly realised in the curved, organic shape of the facade. This curvy wall is distinctive and really sets the ambience of the home. It's a little difficult to see from this angle, but the other walls are made from dark timber. We will explore them a little later.

Double height living room

On entering the home, we come to the living room. The high ceilings create a very forest-like feel to the home and the height encourages us to raise our eyes upwards and take in the lush foliage and high glass windows areas. On our right we have a glimpse of a mezzanine and on the left we have the floor to ceiling glass windows. The room is very simply decorated with cream and dark wooden tones. The most vibrant elements here are the natural elements—that is, lush greenery through lots of clear glass windows.

Glass ceilings and abundant greenery

The transitional point between interior and exterior spaces has been created with a series of floor to ceiling glass doors. This meeting point has been accentuated by a series of matching overhead glass windows, skylights or simple a partial glass ceiling. This part of Portugal receives very hot summers and regular rain showers, so it was important to create an shaded, indoor space with an outdoorsy feel in this home.

A Curvy Staircase

The unique curvy staircase continues the natural, undulating feel of the home. The undulating bannister really reflects the variations and unexpected nature of organic lines. Note here how the steps almost appear to float. They are connected by a central support that is almost invisible from the front and continues the light, lofty feel of the home.

Portals to the world outside

In this corner we have a good sense of how the spaces interlock together. The openings are composed of glass and the thick white beams create a strong if minimalist look. Note here how the corner ceiling has been turned into a corner window. In a moment, we will examine this from the exterior.

An exterior view

From this exterior view, we have the glass walls and a small section of the glass ceiling or skylight. Thanks to the windows, this home receives a lot of natural light. Glass walls can often become a problem when privacy is sacrificed. But here we can see how the foliage that has been allowed to creep in and play an important role. The foliage is not just decorative, it also provides all-important privacy. The natural foliage also creates the feel of a tropical oasis.

Poolside luxury

We love relaxing by the pool and this is the perfect place to end our tour! From here, we can finally see the whole home in all its beauty. The home has floor to ceiling glass windows framed in dark wood. The lawn is perfectly clear and closer to the house, we can see the beautiful flowers that wind in and around the structure.

We hope you have enjoyed the tour. If you enjoy exploring homes with unique layouts and relationships to the outdoors, you'll love this Ideabook The Family-Friendly Fun Home.

What do you think of the curvy staircase in this home? We would love to hear in the comments field below.
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