portugese architect joão cepeda designed a minimal home sheltered by the mountains of serra da estrela, portugal. the site is a vast green scenery, seemingly endless, with wild vegetation that frames the house. the use of earth-pigmented concrete in both the structure and finishing creates harmony and brings the outdoor inside.

house near serra da estrela portugal 1
all images by rendergram



for the concept, joão cepeda applies natural, pure, and tactile materials to complement the ambiance of the setting. the façade is characterized and wrapped in a single material: a red-pigmented concrete mass that is integrated into the surrounding landscape of portugal. all the primeval ground stones are left untouched, acting as a remembrance. a remembrance of the past – a sense of the passage of time. reminding that the new always rests upon the reminiscent. the architect believes that the construction frames the inevitable changing nature and its harsh serenity. to him, ‘life and time unveil themselves exactly as they are – (in) finite.’

house near serra da estrela portugal 2



the architecture adds a strong visual experience to the greyish sky and the sounding gusty winds in the wild vegetation frame. the interior of the house is very minimal, with spaces that provide an ideal condition of natural light and views without compromising the privacy of its residents. the use of earthy tones that extend to the inside creates a homogenous space that emphasizes the fundamental nature of the project. large glazed windows frame the house and allow the occupants to enjoy unobstructed views from everywhere inside the house.

house near serra da estrela portugal 3

house near serra da estrela portugal 4

house near serra da estrela portugal 5

house near serra da estrela portugal 6



project info:


name: house near serra da estrela

designer: joão cepeda

location: belmonte, portugal

3D rendering: rendergram


designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: yasmina karam | designboom