The Casa Carlucci site is located in the historic Lapa district, which became a popular residential area for British expatriates and today is still a favored place for diplomatic missions and Portuguese families. Casa Carlucci’s front and sides sit closely to other buildings. The back of the building has more green and open spaces and includes a large garden and a swimming pool. Some tree buffers create privacy and set distances with the neighborhoods as well.
The gardens in Casa Carlucci are located on the north, west and east sides of the building, and terraces up from the ground to the second-floor level. As the house was vacant for a while without an ambassador, when the new ambassador arrived, the garden was already wild and out of control. According to the facilities manager Christopher Jeppson, the goal was to restore the garden to its original plan. Mary Glass, the ambassador’s wife, holds a master’s degree as a gardener and landscape designer, and ambassador George Glass has enjoyed working on the garden with his wife over the past two and half years. They have planted over 1,500 plants in the Casa Carlucci garden. The garden has many historic features and is meaningful to the strong U.S. – Portugal relationship.
The West Garden is where people can gain access to all gardens. It has a gentle slope and stairs that lead people on to the second level. The garden has a big open lawn space with planting beds on the edge. A couple of benches are along the sides of the gardens, so that people can sit and enjoy the nature views. Walking up to the stairs, there is a symmetrical path leading people to the fountain on the left side. According to Christopher Jeppson, the fountain was added recently. The Baroque style fountain complements the surroundings, and the sounds of water flow create a peaceful environment.
The North Garden sits on a higher level than the other gardens, and maintains two important historic features: the swimming pool, and the tennis court. Walking up to the garden, a swimming pool is visible ahead, and a couple of tables and benches sit on decorative pavers. The swimming pool is a water holding tank in case the utilities go out. The tennis court is on the far right side and is surrounded by a green fence. Some vines are climbing on the fence, and colorful plants compliment the green color of the tennis court. The tennis court was originally set up as a helipad, because of the Portuguese Revolution at the time; it was set up for emergency use for the former ambassador Frank Carlucci. Therefore, the swimming pool and tennis court are important features of the garden that hold stories from historic moments in Portugal, and also serve as records of Frank Carlucci’s remarkable service to the United States and Portugal.
The East Garden is a sunken courtyard in the east corner. It. serves as a landscape separation between Casa Carlucci and the next building. The garden has a paved brick path on the west side, and a wooden bench on the end. The open space has a rectangular lawn, while it opens up the landscape, it also has shaped shrubs on the edge, to create privacy from the road. It is a place for holding outdoor events and public gatherings.