The shape of the Portuguese home we will visit today, was inspired by many great historical homes, the most well known being Villa Madama (1517), the famous Renaissance villa designed by the great artist Raphael. The original Villa had a courtyard with a large flight of steps and a great circular court with formal gardens and views of the Tiber River. The other major influence on this home comes from Frank Lloyd Wright's ’Solar Hemicycle’ (1948). Wright promoted the idea of organic architecture and designed the building in a circular shape that allows for passive heating and cooling.
Organically inspired buildings are commonly embraced these days. But there are few buildings that so closely recreate the circular layout on a grand scale. Today, we will explore one such grand home. It is called Moradia Marina and was designed by Karst Architects. Come with us on a tour to explore this very rare property.
The main facade is flat, low-lying and relatively low-key as per the client's wishes. The semi-circular design tends to blend into the surroundings. The building is constructed with stone and timber. It's clear that the home was designed to embrace the landscape and not dominate. Note the free roaming ducks in the foreground.
On closer inspection, we have a better view of the sandstone facade. There are two tones of sandstone used here with natural earthy tones that reflect the surroundings. From here, we also have a good sense of the quite unique curving balcony. The balcony railing is made from a series of fine wire threads that allow the inhabitants almost unimpeded views of the surrounding countryside. The entire facade is lined with floor to ceiling glass doors that further soften the barrier between the interior and exterior spaces of the home.
At the far end of the curved residence, we come to the pool area. The entire entertaining is enclosed within a large, glass structure that evokes the feel of a Renaissance era glasshouse. Floor to ceiling glass walls with wooden window frames and tall columns add to the old-world feel. But it's the unusual roof that really captures our attention. The architects said that they were inspired by the anatomy of a winged creature such as a butterfly and it's clear to see the influence here.
Inside the glasshouse enclosure, we have the interior swimming pool. Rich, dark wooden panels create a very natural sense of luxury, that is further accentuated by the pool design. The pool itself is rectangular, but the recessed wall of the house is made from glass. This means that one can potentially see from the interior living room through the pool and the glasshouse to the world outside. It's a unique layout that really captures the organic, nature-focussed essence of the home.
We will pause for a moment to explore one of the many interesting angles in the main structure of the home. Here we can see how the beautifully curved structure captures the organic feel of nature. Glass and stone meet tumbling greenery to great effect. The home literally nestled into the wild and pretty garden.
It's easy to focus on the larger, more general spaces of a home and overlook the details. So for our final photo, we will explore a view of some of the many undulating lines in the home. Here we have a detailed view of the roof area with glass panels. The curves and use of varying lines used here really highly the organismic philosophy that inspired this home.
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