Villa Magazine Interview


This is an interview with Mario Martins by AmirAbbas Aboutalebi, about villa typology, has been published in Villa Magazine, No.8

Villa Do you consider villas as an independent typology in architecture?

Martins Villas or, as I prefer to name it, ‘houses’ or ‘homes’ are, in my understanding, not only an independent typology but a very specific one. Designing someone’s house involves direct and interpretive work with the clients, understanding their particular wishes, needs and different ways of living.

Villa Do you agree with this statement? “Designing villas is a more appropriate topic for practicing and experiencing the intellectual approach of leading architects and architectural offices?

Martins I partially agree with the statement. The exercise of designing a house is a very intimate one and a work that will always, in the architect’s mind, evoke their particular sense of home and dwelling. So, in that sense, it may, in fact, reveal the particular approach of a certain architect or architectural office to the architecture practice. However, I believe all commissions’ typologies have that ability. 

Villa Why sometimes architects call their villa project, a house?

Martins As stated above, I prefer the term ‘house’ over the term ‘villa’, because it echoes the feel of ‘home’ as a refuge in which we find protection from the outside world, an intimate place to dwell and to look at the world. 

Villa In your opinion, what is the most distinct difference between a house and a villa?

Martins The term ‘house’ has an underlying sense of ‘home’ and thus echoes the intimate interaction between the inhabitant and his or her dwelling. The term ‘villa’, on the other hand, evokes a purely objectual impression. 

Villa Which category does your project belong to? Urban/rural villa, Permanent villa (residence)/ Temporary villa (leisure)

Martins Escarpa House was built on a countryside environment as a permanent residence. So, it falls into the categories of Rural Villa and Permanent Villa.

Villa If Villa Magazine was to throw a worldwide competition for villas, which kind of categorizing do you prefer?

A: Villas below 100 m², 100-250 m², 250-500 m², 500-1000 m² and more

B: Mountain villas, Forest villas, Beach villas, Desert villas, …


A: 250-500 m2

B: Urban Villas/Houses

Villa What suggestions and criticisms do you have about our work?

Martins I think you are doing amazing work on collecting and categorizing information on housing projects and making it available in such an intelligible way. However, I think the ‘style’ naming and distinction you chose for your online database was unfortunate and denotes a certain lack of knowledge on the timeline of architectural styles.


Hanieh Farajzadeh ll villanews