modern living – one man’s visionBy Kerstin Buechner Dias • Mar 10th, 2007 • Category: Building a property, Quinta Lifestyle
All of us like to shape our living space to reflect our character and personal taste. Some are talented enough to start from scratch with a blank canvas and create a dream home using state-of-the-art technology.
But few of us are brave enough to ignore tradition, tear up the rule book and create a whole new way of living.
That is effectively what Andrew Oldfield has done. His new villa is like no house most of us will have ever seen or experienced. Indeed, it may take the rest of the world several years to catch up with some of the cutting-edge technology he has employed in his extraordinary home.
Imagine a house where the interior walls change colour to reflect your mood.Where the pool can shift from azure to pink in seconds, and where just walking into a room will turn the lights on and walking out will turn them off. This is exactly what happens in Andrew’s home, but where did he get his inspiration from?
“I’ve always been into gadgets,” explains Andrew. “We’ve have been resident in Quinta do Lago for 18 years and we’ve always used interesting lighting and sound systems. But a couple of years back I read a fascinating article about the ‘Vos Pad”.
Blueprint for future living
The Vos Pad is a state-of-the-art apartment designed as a ‘blueprint for future living’. Its most stunning feature is its lighting scheme, which is based entirely on dimmable, colour-changing Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs). The innovative use of LEDs, which are low energy and low maintenance, can create some fantastic effects including ‘washing walls’ with a spectrum of colours at the touch of a button. Each LED can have three light sources, one red, one green and one blue. Turn them on together and you have a white light but a dimming control allows you to vary the strength of each colour source, offering a spectrum of light from each fitting.
“I went to see The Vos Pad,” says Andrew, “I really liked it and decided to apply the same technology in my new villa – but where the Vos Pad has 105 light fittings I needed somewhere in the region of over 1,000 fittings!”
Now the garden, terrace, pool and interiors of the ‘Oldfield Villa’ are lit with LEDs, covering a total area of 540 sqm. The LEDs have minimum glare, generate almost no heat and have a life of some 50,000 hours. That makes them cheap to run – but not to buy.
“If the whole house was lit at once,” says Andrew, it’s the equivalent of just 16 100W bulbs. So it’s very energy efficient – but I’ve spent upwards of €150,000 on installing the system.” And that was with Andrew, an engineer by background, doing a lot of the installation work himself.
Another fascinating aspect of the Oldfields’ home is the sheer amount of glass. “I want to see the stars at night,” says Andrew. “So most of our walls and part of the roof are glass. But we have used argon filled glazing which eliminates glare, and it also helps keep the house warm in winter and cool in summer.” Andrew’s love of gadgetry also means that the blinds, curtains, air-conditioning, security gates and CCTV can be controlled via wireless touch-pads.
Despite the highly contemporary nature and style of this remarkable house, it fits in perfectly with its mainly traditionally designed neighbours.
“People come to see it and can’t quite believe what we’ve done,” says Andrew.
“On a dull morning I can make the walls the colour of sunrise, it’s fantastic”.
“Where before we may have spent one week in a month in the Algarve, we enjoy it so much that we’re spending more and more time here. And we just don’t want toleave the house.”
Andrew Oldfield’s Villa was project managed by David Banting Project Management.
“LIGHT, God’s eldest daughter,is a principal beauty in a building” – Thomas Fuller