Words: Zuzanna Gasior
Photography: Alexander Zakharov
Set in the Alentejo highlands, surrounded by ancient olive trees, Villa Extramuros appears from a distance as an abstract white volume, gleaming in the Mediterranean sun.
Laid out on a square with a spatial central atrium, it references traditional houses from the region and at the same time assumes a modern and minimalistic aesthetic.
It features 5 spacious rooms, each one with a private patio. Geometrically pure and monolithic from the outside, upon entering it reveals a lively interior. A multitude of vases, carvings, masks, endless piles of books, original combinations of colours—all of these elements animate the space. In the words of its co-owner François, Villa Extramuros is a living gallery.
It reflects the life and passions of its owners, who about 10 years ago decided to realize their biggest dream and quit their office jobs in France to create this unique place of their own. Their hospitality is unparalleled—they welcomed us with a wide smile from the very first steps we set in their house.
The scenery around Villa Extramuros is as spectacular as its architecture. Olive trees, wild meadows and juicy cacti bathing in the afternoon sun—in high summer, temperature regularly reaches 40 degrees. Taking a dip in the villa’s swimming pool is an obligatory element of recreation here. It is not only about cooling the body, but also about the solace of the mind. On windless days, the perfectly still surface of the water mirrors the sky, setting a perfect scene for meditation. Here, you can enjoy the vastness of space and the intimate proximity of nature in complete privacy.
Villa Extramuros possesses the rare power to slow life down. There’s nothing much to do here except sleeping in, feasting on a leisurely breakfast, catching a few rays of evening sun and maybe opening that book you’ve been trying to read for ages—and that’s exactly the point.
Location: Estrada Das Hortas, 7040-114 Arraiolos, Portugal
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