Casa 103 by Marlene
Uldschmidt Architects

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This house by architect Marlene Uldschmidt has been built into the side of a hill in Portugal and features a vertical light well that links its upper and lower floors (+ slideshow).

Casa 103 by Marlene Uldschmidt

Located in the fishing village of Ferragudo, the split-level building was designed by Portuguese studio Marlene Uldschmidt Architects with layers of internal and external glass partitions that allow natural light through each of the rooms.

Casa 103 by Marlene Uldschmidt

Interior and exterior staircases link the different levels of the sloping site, leading down from a staggered rear terrace to the two main floors of the house, and then further down to the entrance at street level.

Casa 103 by Marlene Uldschmidt

"The difficult topography of the site meant that our concept would need to allow for the design of the internal space to strengthen the visual connection with the rest of the village and beyond," said architect Marlene Uldschmidt.

Casa 103 by Marlene Uldschmidt

Built on a narrow rectangular site, the glass, stone and wooden house is squeezed between a pair of neighbouring buildings on the hillside street.

Casa 103 by Marlene Uldschmidt

"The challenge was to create a facade which would be a physical barrier between the public and private areas whilst enhancing the visual connection with the village and the river," added the architect.

Casa 103 by Marlene Uldschmidt

A small wooden door at street level leads into a long entrance hall on the ground floor, then through to the spacious master bedroom and the only two bathrooms in the house.

Casa 103 by Marlene Uldschmidt

A flight of white stairs appears to grow out from the surface of one of the walls, leading to first-floor kitchen, dining and living room spaces.

Casa 103 by Marlene Uldschmidt

The upstairs kitchen and dining area opens out to the rear terrace, which steps up to various gardens and patios.

Casa 103 by Marlene Uldschmidt

A rectangular swimming pool, wooden sun deck and a private solarium complete this garden.

Casa 103 by Marlene Uldschmidt

Other Portuguese houses featured on Dezeen include a weekend retreat created from farm buildings and animal pens, a house with its rooftop extended into the hillside and a home with a long stone wall and a folding timber facade.

Casa 103 by Marlene Uldschmidt

See more Portuguese houses »
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Casa 103 by Marlene Uldschmidt

Photography is by Fernando Guerra.

Casa 103 by Marlene Uldschmidt

Here's a project description from the architects:


Living Behind the Wall 

Our studio were excited to take on such an interesting project in the Fishing Village of Ferragudo, Portugal.

Casa 103 by Marlene Uldschmidt

The historic centre of Ferragudo is an extremely sensitive area to work in and we believed that our intervention should be balanced harmonious and above all integrate with the surrounding architecture and history.

Casa 103 by Marlene Uldschmidt

The studio decided to explore the concept of “LIVING BEHIND THE WALL” ! connection.

Casa 103 by Marlene Uldschmidt

The challenge was to create a facade which would be a physical barrier between the public and private areas whilst enhancing the visual connection with the village and the river levels.

Casa 103 by Marlene Uldschmidt

The difficult topography of the site meant that our concept would need to allow for the design of the internal space to strengthen their visual connection with the rest of the village and beyond.

Casa 103 by Marlene Uldschmidt

The concept we chose was to use the changes of level within the site in order to achieve this goal.

Casa 103 by Marlene Uldschmidt
Site plan - click for larger image

Another challenge of this concept was to create a light and airy feeling within the building.

Casa 103 by Marlene Uldschmidt
Ground floor plan - click for larger image

We created a vertical well of light that links all levels to achieve this.

Casa 103 by Marlene Uldschmidt
First floor plan - click for larger image

In order to balance the simple white walls natural materials of wood and stone in earthy tones were chosen.

Casa 103 by Marlene Uldschmidt
End section - click for larger image

Author: ultramarino |marlene uldschmidt architects; Marlene Uldschmidt, Arq.a
Collaborating: Maurícia Bento, Arq.a
Location: Ferragudo, Algarve, Portugal
Area: 230 m2
Year: 2010-2013
Structure: Protecna Engineering Team
Carpentry: equipa quatro

Casa 103 by Marlene Uldschmidt
Long section one - click for larger image
Casa 103 by Marlene Uldschmidt
Long section two - click for larger image
  • will

    This is a vey nice dental office! Oh wait…