The White Cube House

April Kennedy April Kennedy
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The peaceful Portuguese island of Madeira is famed for its mild weather, breathtaking scenery and low crime rate. So it's no surprise that young affluent people are flocking to build homes in new neighbourhoods like the one we will explore today.

The surrounding villas may appear quite far away from the main home here, but that's set to change in a few years with the construction of new homes. The owner of this particular property approached architects Studio Dois with the challenge of creating a distinctive home with utter privacy and lots of natural outdoor spaces. Combining privacy and outdoor spaces may seem a little difficult, but as we will discover today, the challenge turned out to be a blessing in disguise. So, without further ado, come with us on a photo tour of this unique modern Portuguese box-like home!

A very private exterior

The architects took the challenge to the extreme by designing an almost solid closed white box in the middle of the property. The result is striking and well suited to the tropical feel of the area. It's a completely unique contemporary design, but the thick white walls have some visual links to traditional island homes in Southern Europe.

Secret terrace areas

As mentioned earlier, the owner requested both privacy and outdoor areas. As a result, the architects decided to assign each bedroom on the first floor its own private terrace. These circle all sides of the exterior and add a subtle asymmetry to the facade. Each of the terraces also has wooden finishing and features a vertical garden. These are essentially small outdoor spaces with three walls and an internal and vertical focus.

A private outdoor area

On the southern side of the home, we come to the ground floor and its' outdoor area. A south-facing exterior with privacy is a great asset to any home in the northern hemisphere. Here we have a simple mass that forms shelter and privacy for the outdoor seating on the left, while the main opening leads to the living room area. The only part of this side visible to the street is the upper level.

A hidden courtyard

An underground level has been created at the back of the home. This lower basement level also has a patio that will bring natural light and ventilation to the interior. The high walls on all sides offer complete privacy and allow the owners to enjoy the pleasures of a secluded little garden.

Unbroken lines and continuous light

The interior and exterior spaces are connected by a series of large glass sliding doors. These allow for vast expanses of unbroken lines and clean design to define the bright open feel of the space. The light enters the home quite beautifully to allow for very even illumination. At the same time, the wooden floors in the living room and the tiles in the kitchen and outdoor areas, give each space specific boundaries.

Open-plan layout

The soft, golden colour scheme in the living room extends the warmth of the timber flooring. This acts as a nice counterbalance to the cool blue-greys of the kitchen. These are large open plan spaces with minimal details and lots of white walls. But they are also places meant for living and enjoying the finer, luxurious moments in life.

Contemporary bathroom

The cool blue-green bathroom has a simple glass shower stall and a concrete ceiling. It's a relatively simple bathroom, but the strong horizontal mirror and raw materials have been used to emphasise the simple, natural feel of the home. This is one home that is really built to embrace the simple pleasures in life!

If you are interested in private facades, you'll love this Ideabook: The Japanese Home with a Timber Glow.

What do you think of the unique approach to this box-like home? Can you imagine living here? We'd love to hear in the comments!
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