when camarim arquitectos was commissioned to renovate this house in delgada, portugal, the clients placed great importance on the garden. they intended to spend a lot of time outside in the picturesque nature of the region, 75 kilometers from lisbon. camarim devised a pergola and pool structure called ‘delgada 1,’ to help the users fully enjoy the outdoors. it was clear from the start that this structure wouldn’t end up as just an extension to the house. instead, it was devised as a distinct pavilion. soon it would tell its own story with a unique architecture vernacular and stand out from the landscape almost as a monument.

camarim arquitectos
all images by nelson garrido



camarim proposed to position the new structure parallel to the old house on the adjacent field. the concrete structure would cut through the rolling hills and overlook the picturesque vineyard landscape beyond. the architects remarked that they ’intuitively rejected any idea of dialogue with this house,’ as an attempt to avoid creating a franken-house; yet, the positioning of the pergola was intended as a way to create order on the site.

camarim arquitectos



the pergola appears as an ancient temple with its rough concrete pillars; it shares more with stone hedge than the poolside gardens of neighbors. the simple geometry and the rock like concrete contribute to this feeling of permanence. every angle of the structure is sharp and linear — either parallel or perpendicular. even the light blue water seems to lack any indications of organic shape. the architect explains that the project ‘couples materials and decorative elements of varied sources in search of a certain dignity and solidity.’

camarim arquitectos




however, once filled with outdoor furniture and playing children the spaces feel much less austere. despite the harshness of the concrete, the pool is made soft with the use of pink marble. tiny slits in the concrete illuminate the space and add a rich glow that becomes more apparent later in the day. it just goes to show never to judge a building by its facade — this one has a few surprises. 

camarim arquitectos

camarim arquitectos

camarim arquitectos

camarim arquitectos



project info:


project name: delgada 1
project location: delgada, bombarral, portugal
site area: 7860 sqm
built area: 136 sqm
project completion: 2016
project by: camarim
project architects: vasco correia, patrícia sousa
collaborators: sebastien alfaiate, joana ramos

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