Bica Arquitectos knows how to make geometry work in its favor. The Portuguese firm’s design for Casa Belas Clube de Campo is a master class in how to use simple shapes to maximum effect.
The house sits outside of Lisbon on a slightly sloping plot of land, overlooking the Sintra Mountain Range. The architects echoed the graded landscape with a clever optical trick: The glassy base of the house is sandwiched between two layers that slant in opposite directions.
A stone wall runs across the lawn, getting progressively taller as the lawn slopes downward. Meanwhile, a wedge-shaped white volume sits atop the main floor, slanting in the opposite direction to create a pleasing geometric foil to the stone wall.
The base of the house is built from concrete and wrapped in floor-to-ceiling windows, which give the white volume the appearance of floating against the blue sky. Inside, the house is just as disciplined in its geometry.
A curving staircase leads from the concrete-floored first level to the upstairs where a transparent glass wall makes the second story look like it’s a floating platform. It’s hard to imagine living in a house that’s as stark and stylish as this one, but it sure is nice to look at.