Casas Caiadas Open House is a home that combines discreet and minimal architecture with the authenticity of the Alentejo region.
How would you describe Casa Alentejana in a nutshell?
Casa Alentejana is an exclusive house with plenty of privacy and beautiful views across the fields of Alentejo. Made to enjoy life with friends & family this villa was designed by the architect João Favila Menezes. The house has become an important reference point for contemporary architecture in Alentejo.
What is the story behind Casa Alentejana, what was your inspiration to create it?
We came to Alentejo in 2009 for a week’s holiday and fell in love with the place. Soon after returning to Lisbon, we started looking for a piece of land to buy where we could build a home. It took us almost a year, as we were looking for something that wasn’t too expensive. Eventually, we found this one.
Just 15 days after signing the deal, we were informed that they were about to change the law, meaning you could only build a house if you had four hectares (which we didn’t). After meeting with the municipality, they gave us six months to design the project, so we had to act very fast with our architect.
In two years, the house was complete and we initially used it for weekends away from Lisbon. In 2013, we decided to rent it out for short-term stays and, during these years, we had our two children.
By 2019, we were tired of being in Lisbon and with neither of our jobs requiring us to go into the office each day, we decided to move to Alentejo on a more permanent basis. We took our kids out of their private school in the city and enrolled them in a local school in the countryside.
In 2020, I was completing a Trans-Siberian trip for work when Covid hit and I got stuck in Mongolia for 15 days. By the end of March, I was able to get back to Portugal and found out shortly after that I had cancer. I had to have a lung removed and underwent chemotherapy while my wife was busy on a huge project with Netflix. It was a very complicated year!
The following year, things began to settle down and we decided to move into a little apartment just 20 minutes from Casa Alentejana so the kids could walk to school. We completed renovations on the house and began renting it out again for short-term stays.
How would you describe the atmosphere and interior design of Casa Alentejana?
The house was designed by an architect friend of ours who is becoming well-known in Portugal. It’s very comfortable and constructed from brick that has been covered with linen. In summer, it is very fresh, while in winter, it retains heat well. Everything is electric and we source water from the land. As it doesn’t rain a lot in Alentejo, we ask that guests are mindful of water consumption during their stays.
We have no immediate neighbours, so the house feels very exclusive and you can play music as loud as you want! The only people you are likely to see are some elderly men who come by with their sheep and cows.