Casa Um gives pause for thought in the Algarve with minimalist redesign

A redesigned rural Portuguese home becomes a humble yet modern rertreat, a minimalist house by local architecture collective Atelier Rua

Casa Um by the addresses hero exterior
(Image credit: Francisco Noguiera)

Portuguese architecture collective Atelier Rua has redesigned a humble existing structure into a still modest, yet thoroughly modern, minimalist house in the country's Algarve region. The architects took their cues from the local vernacular and climate. Casa Um, they say, is a minimalist home that ‘mirrors and reinterprets the visual, physical, and spatial archetypes of the traditional architecture of the Algarve'. 

The structure is composed of a cluster of well-defined, smaller, interconnected volumes. Painted white and located on an irregularly shaped, sloped plot (which the various separate volumes help negotiate with ease), the house offers long views of the surrounding nature and the Algarve coast. A context of carob, olive, mastic, and almond trees form an archetypal Mediterranean landscape, set against the region's mountains in the distance.

Casa Um by the addresses main living room space

(Image credit: Francisco Noguiera)

The interior is populated with a healthy mix of contemporary furniture and items that draw on the country's crafts traditions; it mirrors the expert blending of old and new provided by the architecture. ‘When enjoying social and outdoor spaces, the old house stands out while the new construction is not visible,' say the architects. 

The social areas of the house – a flowing living, dining and kitchen space set within several open rooms – are placed at the heart of the floorplan, in the old house, and in direct connection with the outdoors. A generous garden with a private swimming pool at the rear of the property ensures plenty of outside space for the residents. A distinct, new-build volume contains the house's four bedrooms, all with their own small, private patio. 

The project is now part of The Addresses, a locally based, design-led business that offers homes to rent in Portugal. Casa Um is its first property to complete.

Casa Um by the addresses view through living spaces

(Image credit: Francisco Noguiera)

Casa Um by the addresses exterior detail shot

(Image credit: Francisco Noguiera)

Casa Um by the addresses kitchen detail

(Image credit: Francisco Noguiera)

Casa Um by the addresses dining area

(Image credit: Francisco Noguiera)

Casa Um by the addresses bathroom

(Image credit: Francisco Noguiera)

Casa Um by the addresses interior entrance area

(Image credit: Francisco Noguiera)

Casa Um by the addresses minimalist interior detail

(Image credit: Francisco Noguiera)

Casa Um by the addresses exterior with swimming pool

(Image credit: Francisco Noguiera)

INFORMATION

atelierrua.com (opens in new tab)

theaddresses.com (opens in new tab)

Ellie Stathaki is the Architecture Editor at Wallpaper*. She trained as an architect at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and studied architectural history at the Bartlett in London. Now an established journalist, she has been a member of the Wallpaper* team since 2006, visiting buildings across the globe and interviewing leading architects such as Tadao Ando and Rem Koolhaas. Ellie has also taken part in judging panels, moderated events, curated shows and contributed in books, such as The Contemporary House (Thames & Hudson, 2018) and Glenn Sestig Architecture Diary (2020).

With contributions from