Garden in Comporta by Topiaris

As time goes by, sustainable habitats will show greater charm.

Project Specs


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Appreciation towards Joao Morgado for providing the following description:

这个地处沙丘生境的住宅花园位于葡萄牙西南海岸Alentejo 的Herdade da Comporta,其多样性的景观具有很高的生态价值和文化价值。3000平方米的平坦花园用地上基调植物为沙丘先锋种类,辅助植物则增加多样性景观。

The garden is located on the southwest coast of Portugal, in Herdade da Comporta, Alentejo, which is an outstanding and diverse landscape mosaic with high ecological and cultural value.


The garden is located on the southwest coast of Portugal, in Herdade da Comporta, Alentejo, which is an outstanding and diverse landscape mosaic with high ecological and cultural value. It is worth mentioning the dune system with psammophilous pioneer vegetation, as well as maritime and umbrella pine woods. This mosaic is complemented by agricultural areas in the lower alluvial soils with large ranges of rice fields. The plot area is 3000m2, and the morphology of the land is very smooth and low sloped.

The key concept is to regenerate the terrain – severely damaged by the construction works of the house, following a specific design – inspired on the natural patterns of the surrounding landscape. The plantation of native species was carried out through clusters with small elevations, which are expected to gradually expand to lower adjacent areas fostering an evolutionary dynamics. This ecological evolution has a positive impact in terms of landscape aesthetics, translated into changeable and transitory scenarios, which at some point will merge with the surrounding woodland.

The Client asked for mainly three things – visual privacy, a small tank of water and cool shades for the summer – all present into the design proposed. The house is rather unpretentious in its architecture, guiding the orthogonal lines of the paths, which assure the liaisons, safeguarding the soil and clusters. Under the main porch there’s a small scented garden, with aromatic species structured by a wooden grid. From here, a path leads towards the chill-out. In the northwest and southwest limits wooded beams panels were built to create privacy in the initial period – while vegetation is still growing, having an important role on this garden’s identity.

The garden maintenance was intended – and by now confirmed – to be low, including few cuts spaced in time to ensure its natural regeneration. The strategy pointed that the drip irrigation system will be gradually shut down, becoming only available for regeneration purposes.

The project was only the beginning of a story that continues through time, in its own dynamics, giving us the opportunity to follow it, taking conclusions on the ecological and sustainable principals underlying our strategy.



Topiaris is a landscape architecture firm founded in 1986 by four colleagues from the Technical University of Lisbon. Of this original group of partners, Teresa Barão and Luís Ribeiro remain and since joined by Catarina Viana in 1995. Throughout over two decades, Topiaris has sustained significant but steady growth while completing a considerable and significant number of projects in Portugal, with a well-established international presence particularly in Angola Mozambique, Sao Tome and Principe, Cape Verde, East Timor and Algeria. The project team is now made up of eight landscape architects who, sharing fundamental ethical values, strive daily to attain the highest standards in territorial planning and construction, requalification and the safeguarding of landscapes, combining their creative capacities with technical solutions. Team members contribute with their ideas and references towards a
collective workplace discourse defined by conceptual planning rooted in the respective locations and their communities, searching for identities built between the utopian and the rational, in emotional bonds and multicultural dialogues and system sustainability, within a perspective of preserving and conveying essential values – both natural and cultural – to future generations. With ambition and a broad scope of intervention, ranging from regional and urban planning through to large and small scale public and private projects, from historical sites to contemporary landscapes, believing and defending holistic and multidisciplinary approaches and interact deeply with the clients, whether private and public, in the conviction that everyone has a relevant role to play in developing the character and identity of spaces under design and construction.

LOCATION: Herdade da Comporta, Alcácer do Sal, Portugal
PLOT AREA: 3000m2

Topiaris, Landscape architecture
Teresa Barão (landscape architect, coordinator)
Rita Salgado (landscape architect, collaborator)

Gonçalo Salazar de Sousa, Architects

João Morgado – Architecture Photography

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