- Project Manager: Filipe Madeira
- Collaborator: Marisa Oliveira, João Cunha, Margaux Ruiz
- City: Porto
- Country: Portugal
Text description provided by the architects. This housing project refurbishes three buildings located in a long narrow plot that connects two streets of Porto's 18'th century urban fabric.
The building giving onto Rua do Almada was a typical 19th century Oporto bourgeois house. The project extended the building backwards, aligning the rear façade with the neighbouring houses. The new rear façade, in which granite is replaced with sand-blasted concrete, replicates the typical form of this type of building. The building now houses four duplex apartments. The interior woodwork, plaster paintings and ceiling motifs were preserved and all new elements were carefully designed to fit the original style. Despite some water damage, as well as scars caused by contemporary infrastructure requirements, the faux marble paintings in the original staircase were preserved and the damaged areas filled with a subtly coloured stucco.
The building in the middle of the plot is testimony to the industrial activity that used to occur in inner city blocks. The design approach respected that history: the three storeys have a similar layout, with a single room, a staircase and a bathroom. The building can be used as a house, but also as an office or a studio.
The materials used reflect the specificity of the building: the volume is wrapped in corrugated steel sheets; on the inside, the structure, equipment and solid concrete blocks are left visible, contrasting with the polished terrazzo and wood floors.
A very narrow house giving onto Rua Alferes Malheiro was a ruin that had to be rebuilt. As with the Almada building, traditional construction techniques were used to ensure compatibility with the existing stone walls.
Some of the wood structure remains visible, giving character to the space; larger windows were inserted into the rear façade, made in bush-hammered concrete that blends with the granite walls around its private garden; a sculptural staircase, placed in the darker part of the plot, connects the 4 storeys which are less than 3m wide.