WORDS Laurence Dougier PHOTOS Nicolas Mathéus
Among the triptych of the ocean, dunes and rice fields in Comporta, Portugal is a home of luxury and simplicity, Inspired by the huts of local fishermen and farmers.
Almost everywhere at the seaside, regulars have their unmissable spots – places to which they return year after year, never tiring or ceasing to be amazed. With its golden sand with golden reflections, trails of foam and broken seashells, and iodised perfumes intermingled with the woody scent of pines, this corner of Praia do Pego is a refuge for those lucky enough to be able to acquire land here.
The owners of this particular property – French by way of a lengthy sojourn in Mexico – fell in love with this corner of Portugal, which reminded them of the Mexican coast and its palm-thatched palapa huts. And there’s a certain purity in the way their home respects the spirit of the place – of its origins, essence and authenticity.
Lisbon interior architect Rita Andringa of Andringa Studio worked on this project with architect Nuno Lopes, the creator of many of the beautiful houses of Comporta. “We share a great love for the vernacular architecture of the Alentejo coastline,” she says. “The proportions here certainly have little to do with traditional fishermen’s huts – but as to the rest, we are connected by the materials and ancient techniques of local architecture.”
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Under the thatched roofs are wooden and reed walls. The ceilings are also a combination of wood, cane and thatch. And there is no distinction between the architecture and the decor – they are two parts of a whole. Function and beauty go hand in hand, and the furniture is often integrated into the masonry – as is the case with the walls that extend into sofas, and the headboards that become bookcases.
The surface area – 300m2 – allows for different scenarios and views to emerge from different parts of the home. A larger hut, perched near the top of the site, contains the kitchen, dining room and living space, as well as the master bedroom. From here, forest views unfold through large windows and sliders in every direction. On the lower level, the guest-bedroom and children’s area wrap around an orchard and an aromatic herb garden, the brainchild of the founder of luxury garden brand Le Prince Jardinier, Louis-Albert de Broglie. The swimming pool is more secluded, with the surrounding dunes ensuring privacy.
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Connected to each other by a set of wooden terraces, the smaller “houses” are autonomous spaces that still allow for soft mobility. Highlighting the contribution of the owners in the success of the project, Rita says they were very hands-on. “I’d even say that we carried out collaborative work with the landscaper and the craftsmen,” she adds. “It’s essential to harness the power of teamwork in a project of this kind – because the human aspect is crucial in anything that’s ‘made in Comporta’.”