Casa Na Terra is a bunker-style underground house that is completely integrated into the landscape. What’s more, you can rent it out. Olivia Palamountain reports

You’ll need your wits about you to find Casa Na Terra. The “house in the land”, this extraordinary Portuguese home is excavated from the earth and buried deep into the landscape so that only fragments are visible from above.Casa Na Terra, MonsarazLocated two and a half hours from Lisbon, near the town of Monsaraz, the house benefits from a position near plenty of historic places of interest, including a view of Europe’s largest artificial lake, the Lagoa do Alqueva.Casa Na Terra, MonsarazCasa Na Terra was designed by architect Manuel Aires Mateus, with the intention to honour the natural surroundings of the Alentejo region as best possible.

“The house is located in an area where construction is not allowed,” Aires Mateus told Wallpaper*. “Our ecological responsibility was also to make the house disappear into the landscape.”

Winner of Arch Daily’s Building of the Year 2020, this predominantly concrete house has been built into the ground like a bunker.Casa Na Terra, MonsarazThe only visible elements of the building are the patios and a domed skylight that covers the communal areas and an outdoor patio, intended to visually connect all the rooms to the natural surroundings.

Three en suite bedrooms, each with a private patio, have been tiled in white to reflect light from the open-air atria above, while the kitchen and living area open up to a vast outdoor area overlooking the land and lake beyond.
Casa Na Terra, MonsarazAccording to Aires Mateus, the interiors have been inspired by the idea of silence. Concrete is softened by warm natural woods and bespoke furnishings, many of which have been crafted by local artisans using local materials.
These sit alongside Flos lights and Branca Lisboa chairs. “In this case, the interior design and the architecture is not something to be seen, only to be felt,” he explains.
Casa Na Terra, Monsaraz
Casa na Terra is the fifth property to join the Silent Living collection – a small hotel group that also owns Santa Clara 1728 (W*216), a six-room hotel perched atop one of Lisbon’s seven hills.

Prices start from €350 per night in low-season to €600 per night in high-season (breakfast and daily cleaning are included).

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