Casa das Freiras: an oasis, filled with light, in the historical centre of Lagos.

_project: Casa das Freiras
_architecture: Mário Martins Atelier
_location: Lagos, Portugal

Casa das Freiras was conceived for a site with no exterior views, surrounded by imposing historical walls linked to a convent. Despite initial apprehensions of being confined within a dark, gloomy space, Mário Martins transformed the house into an oasis, filled with light, in the historical centre of Lagos. The marvellous sky view of Algarve serves as a constant source of joy and energy, making it impossible to not start the day with a blissful state of mind.

The residence, as described by its owner, is characterized by a meditative tranquillity. Casa das Freiras stands as a serene retreat for a family that loves city life while also appreciating tranquillity. Upon opening the door, they are greeted by the bustling city life of Lagos – the vibrancy of street artists, lively café terraces, and historical narratives whispered by each corner. Conversely, when the door closes, they find themselves in their own world, listening to the chirping birds, and relishing the splendid garden.

When asked about the favourite part of the house that encapsulates Mário Martins's vision, the owner finds it challenging to choose one. Each space in the house is best suited for different times of the day and varying occasions. For instance, the open kitchen becomes the hub for socializing with friends, the pool and garden are a prime attraction for children, while the living room with its fireplace provides ultimate comfort during winter evenings.

However, if one space had to be singled out, it would be the entrance. The way the façade opens to reveal a special view of the arches of the 'Freiras' Church is particularly favoured by the owner. This feature brings an element of surprise, further solidifying the unique identity of the Casa das Freiras.

Casa das Freiras is not just an architectural feat, it's an environment carefully curated by Mário Martins that influences the mood and behaviour of those who live there. It seamlessly blends the tranquillity of a retreat with the buzz of city life, offering the best of both worlds to its residents. It's a testament to the vision and creativity of Mário Martins, offering a unique blend of architectural finesse and human-centric design.


_article written by Daniela Moreira Silva
_film by Building Pictures
_curatorship by Architecture Hunter
_image scroll by Fernando Guerra

_drawings by Mário Martins Atelier

1. Site Plan

2. Basement Plan

3. Ground Floor Plan

4. Sections

5. Sections

6. Diagrams

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