12 villas nestled in the arid setting of a Cape Verde island.

Nestled among the hills of Cape Verde, Barefoot Luxury is a high-end retreat that celebrates the philosophy of simple living. Part of a larger complex, the stone villas occupy a plot of land in Baia de João d’Evora, a bay in the rocky landscape of the São Vicente island. Polo Architects collaborated with Going East to design contemporary holiday homes that blend into the setting and pay homage to its beauty and traditions in a refined but also respectful way. Close to Mindelo, the island’s capital, the villas welcome guests in an arid landscape. Here, ocher, sandy brown, and reddish hues perfectly contrast the deep blue color of the Atlantic. The team used many locally sourced materials for the project, along with furniture and decorative items crafted by local artisans.

Built from local basalt, the four types of villas also feature raw, textured concrete interiors. They range from one level to up to four; naturally, the latter provide the best views over the landscape and the bay. Basalt pathways lead from the entrance to the patio walls that offer access to each villa. The studio used vernacular building techniques for the volumes, pairing contemporary architecture with traditional materials. Local craftsmanship also defines the project.

The villas embrace the landscape with large openings as well as sheltered outdoor areas. Each villa has a private terrace and wooden deck with an outdoor kitchen and a swimming pool. The rotating Kotibé wood panels can either open the rooms to the views or protect interiors from coastal winds. Inside the villas, natural colors, wood surfaces, and objects with a strong link to the islands’ culture create a warm space. Part of the first phase of a larger project, the 12 villas are available to either rent or to buy. Photographs© Francisco Nogueira.

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