One becomes five

fala atelier refurbished an old single family house in Portugal, transforming it into five small apartments with deep blue doors and furniture, and post-Postmodern details.

Img.1 fala atelier, House in Rua Faria Guimarães, Porto, Portugal 2017
The old house in Porto was found in a sequence of equally discrete buildings from different periods of the 20th century. Built originally for a single family, and abandoned for decades, the brief proposed by Fala Atelier transforms the ruin into a housing unit with five apartments, responding to the accelerated gentrification process in the area.
The perimeter of thick granite walls was preserved and the interior structure was completely refurbished, recurring only to light wood elements. The fragmented arrangement of small inner rooms was replaced with a sequence of almost identically dimensioned apartments.


In every unit, a modular wall of openable plywood panels was painted in a deep blue tone, concealing different functions: kitchens, bathrooms, cabinetry. Only upon a second look it is understandable the distinction between the five units: the consistent system and visual relation between the several apartments finds its contradiction in the necessary adaptation of its rhetorical rigidity to the geometry of the staircase, the existing windows, the form of the roof. In each studio, a piece of natural stone with a different form unbalances the apparently symmetrical inner elevations.

The street facade acts as a theatrical device with its unorthodox use of the traditional local tiles. Two double-doors with different colours suggest distinct hierarchies.
Img.10 fala atelier, House in Rua Faria Guimarães, Porto, Portugal 2017
Img.10 fala atelier, House in Rua Faria Guimarães, Porto, Portugal 2017

House in Rua Faria Guimarães, Porto, Portugal
Architect: fala atelier
Project team: Filipe Magalhães, Ana Luisa Soares, Ahmed Belkhodja, Mariana Silva, Diogo Paixão, Paulo Sousa
Tiles: Paulina Piech
Client: Stunning Chapter ltd
Contractor: Engilaco
Year: 2017

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