Surreal Aquatic Palace

This incredible ultra-modern 1100m2 concrete home by José Guedes Cruz, César Marques and Marco Marinho of Guedes Cruz Arquitectos on the Portuguese Riviera is one for your bucket list. The undisputed star of the visually arresting building is the pair of large overlapping swimming pools spread across two levels. Images by Ricardo Oliviera Alves

The first is on the ground and the second positioned perpendicular on the upper level. Being in the top pool creates a surreal feeling of swimming in the air. Guedes Cruz Arquitectos fitted the upper pool with a glass bottom, creating a surreal visual effect, where swimmers above can look down at those in the pool below, and vice versa. 

Then there is the luscious internal  garden that wraps around the dramatic spiral staircase which links all levels.  You can look through a full height frameless glass wall to the garage where a vintage Porshe is parked, of course. 

According to the architects, the house was built “like a wall in a Castle not in stone, but in concrete, glass and wood, not only for protection but because of the neighbours and the strong Atlantic Winds.”

Anchored around a large courtyard that seamlessly connects the luxury villa’s indoor and outdoor spaces, one side of the property has an expansive glass wall that can be opened for a direct connection between the interiors and the surrounding greenery and Oitavos Dunes Golf Course. Timber slats attach to the concrete exterior structure act as elegant privacy mechanisms.