These palaces are out of my second book. They are some of the villas from my imaginary and suburban "campagna". Some are descendants of the soft house that have gone straight. Some of them originally turned and twisted. All of them are now precise and geometric - all of them are generated from basic grids.

Casa Saim steps downhill and grows out on both sides towards the sea to form an outdoor area which screens its owners from neighbours. Each window gives a different impression of the sea view and the distant islands and multiplies the same passing ship again and again in its casement frames of different sizes. The garden is littered with walls where the house appears to have been and then hesitated or changed its mind. The swimming pool is like another of the rooms inside the house but built into the earth instead and filled with water. Saim House is a house of quite a few optical illusions.


The Almiro do Valets House is huge. It is a machine to turn time backwards - built ten years too late, when the children had already grown up and left home.

The idea of the house is a colonnade of pillars partially walled up, partially glazed under a tiled roof turned in towards a large rain drain with a few smaller roofs around the outer edges

The house is faced in brown stone in two textures - a mosaic of small stones for the pillars, rubble stonework for the walling inside, the space is subdivided by walls and wooden screens of square patterns of many sizes.

Some of the screens are open, some are glazed. One between the lounge and the dining room is faced with four hundred mirrors six by six centimeters reflecting both ways.


The House of the Broken Pediment is perched on the steep hillside overlooking the Caracol - the snail drive - a winding road that connects the Polana beach to the plateau above. It turns a broad low lying gutter to the roadside and a monumental broken pediment to the bay. It is a house of shelves sheltered under a very large roof. Some of the rooms are separated from others by wooden screens Some of the beams are split to contain lights. I had worked at the idea of broken pediments before but in those other houses the pediments were most often just lying on the ground.


Casa Boesch stands on a corner site in Sommerschield. It is a house making many beginnings at various symmetries which are then interrupted by the order and needs of the rooms. The many small openings on the two inner façades are bound together by various horizontal and vertical elements which strongly activate those façades.


Casa Lopes da Silva - Encosta da Polana - LM

Most of the roofs of these houses are halves or quarters of tiled pyramids, either inverted or resting on gutters. Some are pyramids or slices of pyramids with stepped or serrated edges.

It amuses me to imagine them coming together; the House of the broken pediment is the other half of a bank residence. Casa Boesch is a quarter of them both together.