Imagine the summer holiday that you have always wanted to have, and now imagine the ideal home that you would want to spend that dream holiday in. We bet you would come up with a place that looks a bit like this surf cabin. Built by architects MAYER & SELDERS ARQUITECTURA, this two story home is nestled on the coast of the tropical island Madeira, just outside the small rural village of Jardim do Mar.
The location, positioning and layout of this home were all focused around maximizing the stunning, NW views along the ocean and towering 1312 feet high cliffs and is constructed from natural wood and integrated into existing basalt stone walls. It's small barn shape and gabled roof complement the neighboring structures that are typical of this rural region.
This is a surf cabin that has style, a touch of grandeur and a whole lot of rustic charm, and is ready to show itself off to us. So let's take a closer look!
Thanks to the full length windows and high ceilings of the top level, those breathtaking views are unbeatable. The intimate space on the mezzanine level reserved for the bedroom makes sleeping here a thoroughly enjoyable time.
Not wanting to completely destroy the character of the terraced farming landscape, the architects actually built into the existing rock, even leaving an exposed rock wall in the bathroom, complete with live moss and plants growing over it.
And by building up, in multiple levels, the design team also made the house fit seamlessly into the rocky terraces. The bottom level is primarily an open plan living space, while the upstairs level consists of a kitchen, and stairs leading to the attic bedroom.
As the nearby village's name literally translates to 'Garden of the Sea', you can understand why the property has a huge space reserved for it's very own garden. Hardy plants that can withstand high winds take their place in raised soil beds and are edged with some of the surrounding rocks, keeping the garden looking natural and easy to maintain.
Obviously the star attraction of this property is the location, and to appreciate it fully, the front of the house consists mostly of windows. The million dollar views can be enjoyed from all three different levels, even while in bed.
The pool, that was added at a later stage is constructed from two circles and is situated at the very front of the property, making it the ideal place to spend the long hot days that are so common on this Portuguese island.
Below the mezzanine level, we have the cooking and eating space. To keep the rest of the level free, the kitchen sink has been condensed into the one piece of furniture that also includes a cupboard, the staircase and bench space for dining.
Access from this kitchen space out onto the garden is made easy thanks to the large glass ranch sliding that extends across the front wall. It's never been easier to have a herb garden right on your doorstep!
By leaving the basalt stones uncovered, and building the bathroom around them, they become a unique, beautiful feature of the bathroom. And by inserting the window right next to the stone wall, only increases their effect to really make guests think they are bathing in nature.
Back on the bottom level, the layout is kept simple and flowing. The floors are constructed from hard wearing wood that can withstand full sun and any salt that may accumulate on them.
And the glass in the windows is tinted slightly to make the harsh light of Madeira that much more bearable while inside. Curtains or blinds can be forgotten about in this house—it's all about keeping the views clear to appreciate and enjoy them as much as possible. And why wouldn't you?!
If you love the island lifestyle, then take a look around this tropical villa, that is not only beautiful, but also eco-friendly.