It was no surprise this project won quite a few prizes! Picture it: a Brutalist architectural work, buried in the grass, peeking out at ground level, its foundations immersed in a Portuguese lake. Architect Manuel Aires Mateus made this mineral dream a reality for a striped down, three-bedrooms hotel: the Casa Na Terra. This hotel is the apology of peacefulness, a return to the essential and ‘slow life’. Included in a Portuguese hotel management program called ‘Silent Living’, the hotel merges with the outside with both open-wide and tiny windows. The interior design follows the principle of showcasing materials in their raw state, and so does the local cuisine. A two-hour drive away from Lisbon, this hotel is the perfect venue for a spiritual retreat and for reconnecting both with nature and with yourself. It is the complete opposite of everything superficial we tend to get lost in too often – and it does you good.