Six mini apartments overlooking a courtyard garden in Porto

Set in an urban complex of low-rise buildings in Porto, the fala atelier project plays on the lightness of the exteriors and elaborate geometries in the interiors.

Hidden within one block are two similar looking buildings, one very long and the other very short, housing six houses – four identical and two different – around a common garden. Outside, the houses are defined by a continuous colonnade that frames a collective garden where it becomes impossible to see where each house begins or ends. The façade is an overlapping of several rhythmic rows: the thin metal columns, the blue striped doors, the black coffered skylights. The roof is composed of two layers: under the metal sheets there is a pink corrugated surface that underlines the thinness of the surface. All around, the most honest and beautiful urban scenery defines the background of such an architectural exercise.
The composition of each interior space combines orthogonal, diagonal and curved lines. The slightly distorted perimeter of the rooms sets the frames; the main spaces come from a subtraction of conflicting surfaces that include secondary programs. Thin metal poles carry vertical tension; circular openings connect uneven programs. Acting within a very small volume, this combination of ambivalent geometries allows for unconventional environments.
The materiality of the interiors follows their complexity. The walls are simply white, the horizontal slabs are reinforced concrete, the floors are polished blue marble and the sloping ceiling is painted pink. Wooden doors, exaggerated handles and hints of pink marble accompany this interplay of surfaces.

Project:
Six houses and a garden
Program:
refurbishment
location:
Porto, Portugal
Architect:
fala atelier
Project team:
Filipe Magalhães, Ana Luisa Soares, Ahmed Belkhodja, Rute Peixoto, Lera Samovich, Paulo Sousa
Landscape:
Pomo
Contractor:
Civiflanco lda
Area:
190 mq
Completion:
2020

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