WORDS Cheri Morris IMAGES Francisco Noqueira via Dezeen
Casa Azul by Bak Gordon Arquitectos is a picture of its surroundings: a geometric desert haven dressed in ancestral lime mortar, the ochre breeze of the dusty horizon and fractals of sunlight imbued with warm tranquillity.
Located in the Alentejo region of Portugal, Casa Azul’s design is centred around a long swimming pool and features an extensive water tank whose design mirrors the grassy, sandy terrain. The home’s geometric arrangement, featuring wide windows and openings, affords inhabitants frames through which to savour transient outdoor scenes. Here, the dance between light and shadow proves a fundamental element to the design.
Cork, a hallmark of the Alentejo landscape, isolates the house from the outside; insulating it to create a micro-climate within. Covered in pigmented lime mortar, the wealth of natural light further charges interiors with a peaceful heat. A long room positioned alongside the pool houses an open-plan living and dining space which is punctuated by a pair of double-height blocks that frame the water tank on either end.
Open seating areas described as “fresco rooms” respond more directly to the environment and climate by bringing the outside in. The rest of the house flows from an enclosed internal courtyard that contains a small pool. Three bedrooms, each with an en suite bathroom, echo out from this central space to complete the residence.