Porto. House in Rua do Paraíso is a colorful cutout in the urban landscape

Portuguese studio fala has renovated a 19th-century residential building, featuring a marble facade with white, green and black stripes.

fala, Casa in Rua do Paraíso, Porto, 2017

Portuguese studio fala atelier says it is naive but it is not true. Naive means simple and unsophisticated; the young architects are perfectly aware of their path. The aesthetic movement was composed of self-taught painters, who were outside any academic circuit; instead, in less than five years fala has entered academic and biennial circuits, and it is omnipresent in architecture events, festivals and exhibitions. The projects by the Portuguese studio are contemporary because they seem to be thought to circulate in social networks. The produced images are immediate and instagrammable. The pictures of their houses – perfectly overlapping with the project collages – show a controlled mess and are suitable for ads on Airbnb, where even the intimacy is for sale. In short, fala architectures are essential because the designers are capable of interpreting the complexities and contradictions of the contemporary condition.

Their latest project is House in Rua do Paraíso, the renovation of a 19th-century residential building in Porto. The interiors are defined by a few studied elements: a wooden striped floor, two coloured doors, a curved ceiling and an internal stepped wall. The main feature of the project – unprecedented in the path of the young studio – is the rear facade, which has been completely rebuilt.

This facade is not yet a completely public expression of the building, because it overlooks the private garden. However, it is a recognizable sign in the residential landscape of Porto. Its surface is flat and smooth, with two squared windows that frame the interiors. Vertical stripes of white, green and black marble create a pattern that hides the access to the garden. A brass circle crowns the facade. It is an absolutely useless and decorative element: a necessary exception in the otherwise too exact composition. The brass circle is that touch for which fala defines itself as naive, and which demonstrates that play is a serious matter.

Img.8 fala, House in Rua do Paraíso, Porto, 2017
fala, House in Rua do Paraíso, Porto, 2017
House in Rua do Paraíso
housing building
Design team:
Filipe Magalhães, Ana Luisa Soares, Ahmed Belkhodja, Rute Peixoto, Lera Samovich, Paulo Sousa
João Magalhães
Engilaco lda

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