Fala atelier transformed an old bourgeois granite construction into a generic house with a rigorous order.

The lofty 19th century house was found in a narrow alley in front of a cemetery. The project pursued a certain sense of an absolute order: the existing wooden structure was replaced with concrete and the geometry of the plan defined a new spatial grid.

A tense staircase, triangular bathrooms, four relatable living spaces, and a slightly curved corridor organise the necessary uses and hierarchies. Every main room is conceived as a white perimeter punctuated with a concrete column in the very centre, establishing a certain order of programs, making the space understandable. The columns are architectural devices, not structural, and as such, they don’t touch the ceiling.

The living room is an assembly of simple figures where every object has its place: the two blue doors, the practical marble surface, the movable cabinets, the windows facing the opposite exterior scenarios, the theatrical curtains. The exercise in materiality, bringing together wood, concrete, tiles and marble, seamless surfaces and patterns, felt necessary.

Each of the three elevations tells a different story.

The front facade is austere, covered with banal white tiles, dominated by the presence of the two tall doors, one pink and one blue. The side facade is defined by three thick painted lines, reflecting the inside structural composition. The nonfigurative garden facade is composed of two square windows and a proud rain pipe within a nonconformist silhouette; the side wall of the neighbour is painted in dark blue, enhancing the autonomy of the piece.


Facts & Credits
Project title      são brás house
Location   Porto, Portugal
Year           2016-18
Status       Private commission
Architecture     Fala Atelier
Project team filipe magalhães, ana luisa soares, ahmed belkhodja, rute peixoto, lera samovich, elisa sassi, joana sendas, paulo sousa
Landscape architect João magalhães
Client Private
Contractor Engilaco
Photography Ricardo loureiro


If you love Fala Atelier, check out the “House with a curved wall” here!