madeiguincho tops wooden shack 'columba' with skylight in sunshine-generous portugal

madeiguincho tops wooden shack 'columba' with skylight in sunshine-generous portugal

Family home ‘columba’ by madeiguincho


A family-friendly vacation home describes the design of Madeiguincho for its recent wooden cabin in Melides, Portugal. The two-floor summer home offers a restful escape to families with young children, especially since the architects built a steel slide beside the wooden entrance stairs, letting the house double as a safe playground.


Raised above the arid land of Melides, a coastal town in Portugal, Columba lures the attention of those who see it as the wooden architecture dots the horizon of decades-old trees and tranquil territory. Rather than turning the residence into a proper tree house, Madeiguncho builds Columba between the old, sturdy trees enveloping the area.

madeiguincho columba
images courtesy of Madeiguincho | photos by João Carranca



While it is technically a two-floor house, the ground level is a shelter to run to after wandering around the sunlight-filled area. Residents can place deck chairs or hang a swing there, thanks to the elevated construction propped up by wooden beams.


When the day is done, residents walk up to their home and find the interior covered in Japanese cedar. Natural materials permeate the space, from the line of wooden cabinets that greet the residents upon entering to the chunks of raw stones that define the sinks in the kitchen and bathroom.

madeiguincho columba
entrance with kitchen and ladder leading to the second level



A mix of wood identifies the area


Birch plywood underpins the surface of the kitchen countertop and the adjoining benches that double as the dining area. Madeiguincho blends light and dark-colored wood inside Columba which toys with the surroundings’ calm atmosphere and adds a homey character to the residence.


Beside the two-level benches, a large window opens up to the landscape outside through the wooden shutters. Across the benches, the first sleeping area is found where another window lets the airflow in and out of the home.


Stepping inside the bathroom on the first level, the division is based on the type of wood. The pine walls on one side signal the shower area while cedar carpets the rest of the space with its light hue. Gold is the color of the tap’s handle while the white, marble-like raw stone that is rough around the edges comes through as the sink.

madeiguincho columba
bathroom with pine walls for the shower area



Giant skylight for stargazing


Climbing up the ladder to the second level, Madeiguincho takes Columba to new heights. A giant skylight awaits the residents where they are afforded views of the sky. It looks perfect for stargazing, letting the sunlight spill inside, or watching the sunset. A bed is placed just below the skylight, making the outside extremely visible to the residents as they lay in bed. 


Just across the sleeping area, another giant window opens to the platform which also serves as a balcony. Here, residents can pad through the open space and sit for a while. Madeiguincgho intentionally made the square and flat roof bigger than the house for this reason. No space is a waste with the architects’ thorough planning, resulting in a summer home that attempts to convince the owners to make it their permanent residence.

madeiguincho columba
kitchen with birch plywood surfaces


second level balcony and skylight

madeiguincho columba
giant skylight for the second-level sleeping space

madeiguincho columba
window on the second level to enter the open balcony

madeiguincho columba
built-in slide beside the wooden entrance stairs


Columba by Madeiguincho


project info:


name: Columba

architects: Madeiguincho

team: Gonçalo Marrote, Rui Peixoto, João Filipe, Frederico Pina

location: Melides, Portugal

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