Portuguese architects Sara Oliveira and Marco Guarda of A2 + Arquitectos created this cool house in Leiria, Portugal, which can only be described as a lesson in contrasts. Thoughtfully blending dark and light, raw and refined, earthy and contemporary, modern and traditional, the architects show that balance is indeed a thing of beauty - when done right, of course!
Tucked on a narrow lot facing to the north and south, this 3,770 sq. ft., single storey house was designed to maximize a) privacy and b) sunlight - which just happens to be this location's claim to fame. The black shale facade features curving walls that provide the privacy part of this equation, blocking the home from public view without compromising its access to natural daylight. The home's elaborate shape twists with protruding and receding volumes, thus creating a private courtyard entry that leads into minimalist living.
Floor to ceiling windows and elongated skylights artfully illuminate every corner of this wonderfully winding floor plan.
All principal rooms face to the east and the living room looks south, resulting in sun soaked interiors that capture the essence of this geographic hotspot.
The modern interior aesthetic keeps it simple, following the "less is more" principle, allowing you to focus on the interesting architecture rather than just "stuff."