Design Crush : Serralves Art Deco Villa, Porto

July 9, 2019

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I visited a villa in Porto last week that I’m sure is going to stay with me forever, so I had to share it with you! I’m afraid they are iPhone snaps again (I really can’t be doing with a heavy dslr on holiday these days, sorry!). This salmon pink concrete villa, with nods to modernism in the garden and Art Deco architecture, was built between 1925-1944 by the second Count of Vizela in Porto. It reminds me a little of Palm Springs, but perhaps a little more European.

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Housed within Serralves Park and now owned by the state, Casa Serralves is joined by the elegant structure of a new museum of modern art on the other side of the park which is the most visited art gallery in Portugal. But the park is really all about this mansion for me. Sparsely decorated, you will only really find the bones of the building interior alongside temporary exhibits of contemporary art. But this house is all about the architecture, which is pretty breathtaking. Built over three floors, including the basement, the villa was designed to highlight the ornamental gardens it sits in to best advantage, so you will find huge picture windows throughout and an impressive two storey central hall complete with original Lalique skylight that fills the villa with pools of  light.

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It makes a brilliant play of its relation to the environment around it, with a natural flow between inside and out. I love how you can see the garden from most vantages in the house, the airy communal feel created by the central hall which still manages to provide privacy to the living quarters upstairs.

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It also has a healthy dose of Accidentally Wes Anderson about it, which always spikes my curiosity. Despite not having a proper camera on me, these little picture postcards begin to convey how special this place is. Now the only question left to ask is, when can I move in?!

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