Casa dos Mores by Marlene Uldschmidt Architects Studio

Casa dos Mores is a project designed by Marlene Uldschmidt Architects Studio, a single-wall house to shelter love from prying eyes. An outstanding lookout point at the peak of a cliff, with open views of the ocean and the infinite horizon, yet nestled within exuberant vegetation and sheltered from the elements and the prying eyes of majestic trees. The house is pure serenity, filled with the scent of the sea and graced by the sound of wandering birds, it is as close as living on a permanent holiday feels like. Photography by Renee Kemps.


The topography of this site offered the not-so-common opportunity to design a house that defies the distinction between indoors and outdoors thanks to full-height windows all around while maintaining the feeling of complete privacy and exclusive isolation.

The building seems gently laid upon the cliff of which it seconds and follows every gentle drop and bend, every sinuosity and shape. The roof is also carefully laid, rising towards a secular pine nearby and suggesting an open dialogue between now and eternity, almost a weightless completion of this delicate union of building and land.

To complete this perfect union, the use of timber and glass has minimised the impact that the typically Portuguese white walls would have created: bright and bold, distinctive and absolute, breaking the flow that characterises the entire design.

Indoors, the bright spaces are defined by audacious elements like timber stairs with a total diva flair and custom-made furnishing of outstanding craftsmanship. Two large skylights have been placed to maximize the sensation of nature within the walls, which is a distinctive motif of the architectural narrative of the house.

All spaces are wide and open with few selected decorative elements that define them and provide character while allowing the quality and texture of solid wood, and glass to play their role fully.

The privileged location and the mild climate are instrumental in demanding outdoor living just as comfortable as the indoor one and the Studio took the assignment very seriously: customised pool, open-air kitchen, hole-in-the-wall fireplace and a rock pathway leading to a romantic two-seated secret spot where to wine the day away.

The house is self-sufficient, relying on a heat pump, and several photovoltaic and solar panels, reminding us all that sustainability, in current times, is the ultimate luxury asset.

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