House In Rua do Paraíso / fala atelier


© Ricardo Loureiro

© Ricardo Loureiro
  • Architects: fala atelier
  • Location: Porto, Portugal
  • Team: Filipe Magalhães, Ana Luisa Soares, Ahmed Belkhodja, Rute Peixoto, Lera Samovich, Paulo Sousa
  • Project Year: 2017
  • Photographs: Ricardo Loureiro
  • Landscape Architect: João Magalhães
  • Contractor: Engilaco lda
  • Client: Domingo Discreto lda

© Ricardo Loureiro

© Ricardo Loureiro

Text description provided by the architects. A bourgeois 19th-century single-family house was to be divided into a series of identical studio apartments: four living spaces, some circulation areas, and a private backyard. The project happens within a given system of constraints, aiming at an unexpected complexity, finding a certain interest within a very banal set of programs. 


Volume Concept

Volume Concept

Unorthodox everyday spaces are built according to a clearly defined syntax and grammar. The four living rooms are different from each other while sharing the same language, the same set of figures. A defined number of elements – morphemes – within which the project operates: the stepped wall, the curve, two doors (one pink and one green), the striped surface of the floor. The living area becomes a gallery space.


© Ricardo Loureiro

© Ricardo Loureiro

The front facade is almost unchanged. The shabby tiles are replaced by polished green marble contrasting with the roughness of the existing granite frames. A circle of white marble is added to balance the composition. 


© Ricardo Loureiro

© Ricardo Loureiro

The back facade is rebuilt. It becomes taller to match the neighbor’s scale, like a mask or a temple, with two square windows framing interior scenarios. The polished facade has a bold pattern of vertical stripes assembled with white, green and black marble, creating a rich, yet flat, surface. 


Interior Drawing

Interior Drawing

The entrance door is hidden within the pattern and a brass circle ends the piece. The pattern disguises the scale of the building and its program while being unnecessarily proud and exuberant. The back facade becomes a painting for neighbors to look at, the main facade for private use.


© Ricardo Loureiro

© Ricardo Loureiro

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