CasasNaAreia is a gorgeous holiday retreat based on the transformation of old masonry buildings into new, contemporary structures. The property with 4 double bedrooms is about the experience of living almost in an extension of the natural environment, especially when in the kitchen/dining area – which is laid out with a carpet of fine sand. One of the two wooden volumes was converted into a two-bedroom pavilion and the other is employed for common and social areas.
Surrounded by rice paddies and umbrella pine forest, CasasNaAreia looks out onto the Sado estuary, famous for its stunning sunsets, salt pans, flamingos and flocks of dolphins. The beach is just 5 minutes away by car or 20 minutes by bicycle. “It’s the tranquility around CasasNaAreia, the scenery and peace. When people are there and walk on the sandy floors, they’re not able to walk as fast as on normal ground, so it winds them down.”[Photos and information provided via e-mail by Welcome Beyond; Photographer: Nelson Garrido]
Energy during the construction process was saved by using FSC-certified glulam timber instead of steel to create the building’s distinctive wavy roof, while the store’s external walls use hemclad, a highly innovative insulator made from hemp, which, like all plants, absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere as it grows. An 80,000 litre water tank below ground provides water for the store’s toilets and waters the site’s green wall’, which provides natural insulation, acts as an all-natural pollution filter near the car park, and helps to encourage biodiversity. The result is a building that uses a fraction of the energy of structures of a similar size, and is still very popular with local shoppers.
These days, a building doesnt just have to look good, it should ideally be good for the environment too. A great example of sustainability spliced with style from the past few years is the M&S store at Cheshire Oaks Retail Park in Ellesmere Port, designed by Aukett Fitzroy Robinson.