Casa Monte na Comporta – The Dune House

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Of all the avante-garde housing designs I’ve admired, none have struck me as more appropriate to the Australian climate and landscape as Casa Monte na Comporta in Grândola, Portugal.  While relatives and friends back in Brisbane complain about  searing temperatures this season, and fret over the cost of keeping their homes cool and comfortable during increasingly hotter summers, you’d think we Australians would have got better at more energy neutral designs. The Portugese offer us some welcome inspiration.

Architect Luis Pereira Miguel and his team at Pereira Miguel Arquitectos in Lisbon obviously wanted a design that didn’t visually conflict with the surroundings – the dune house blends into the landscape almost seamlessly.

Completed in 2008,  this elegant design is alternatively discreet or striking depending on the angle it is viewed from. Selective use of materials, colours and textures further enhances the effect of being in tune with the natural environment.

I’d like to see whole communities built this way in countries with similar climates.  Residents of Coober Pedy would argue they have already built one.

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