Take an afternoon to visit Serralves, an architectural marvel.
Serralves Villa in Porto, Portugal, exemplifies Art Deco architecture. Designed by architect José Marques da Silva in the 1930s, it’s a masterpiece.
Its most striking feature? The pink-hued, locally sourced granite facade, gives it a unique, almost ethereal charm. Inside, intricate details harmoniously blend geometric shapes and curves.
Originally a residence, today, it’s the main building of the Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art. This museum boasts a vast collection of modern and contemporary art, featuring works by renowned 20th and 21st-century artists.
Visitors explore its history and peruse permanent and temporary exhibitions. The museum also houses a beautiful Art Deco garden, designed by landscape architect Jacques Gréber.
Beyond the villa and museum, the Serralves Foundation operates a cultural centre, hosting year-round events, from film screenings and concerts to educational workshops and guided tours.
Serralves Villa is a cultural and architectural gem not to miss in Porto. With stunning architecture, lush gardens, and a world-class contemporary art collection, it’s a must-visit for art, architecture, and design enthusiasts.
The villa is a warm glow of pink and amber hues. I was lucky to catch an exhibition of works by the Spanish artist Joan Miró.
Pink marble staircase and handrail. One of the most beautiful things about the villa is how the light plays on the interior.
Original antique mirrors with a natural patina that can only be developed over time. The decor was conceived by Jacques Ruhlman.
If you visit the villa slightly out of season, you may be lucky enough to have the whole thing to yourself as I was. The most beautiful space to exhibit art.
The pink marble bathroom was astonishing. A rich deep pink, a tone not widely seen. The proportions of the room are luxurious.
Every detail of the villa is considered. From the inlaid wooden floor to the ribbed wall panelling. I crave details like this in contemporary architecture.
Make sure you visit every corner of the villa. Every space has its own surprising details, including original pieces of furniture such as this floor lamp.
As I said make sure you visit every corner, the toilet lobby in the basement is clad in black marble, a point of difference to the rest of the villa. Taps door handles, radiators, all tailored for Serralves.
For the ladies’ toilets, a different pink marble was used. The windows let in the softest afternoon light.
The gardens of the foundation are a really beautiful place to spend an afternoon. I had no idea that there was an Anish Kapoor on the grounds and just happened to stumble upon Sky Mirror.
All open-top tour buses stop at Serralves Foundation. As there’s so much to see, leave an afternoon to visit and wander around the gardens.
A visit to the villa is €13 a ticket for the whole Serralves Foundation is €20
Read the blog post on beautiful Lisbon for more Portugal inspiration.