- Architects In Charge: Guiomar Rosa
- Design Team: Hugo Natário, Jorge Gomes
- Client: Privado
- Structural Engineer: João Lima
- Hydraulics Engineer: Luisa Miguel
- Thermic Engineer: Filipe Trindade
- Acoustics Engineer: Rui Ribeiro
- Mechanical Engineering: Filipe Trindade
- Electrical And Ited: Filipe Trindade
- City: Porto
- Country: Portugal
Text description provided by the architects. This house was built for a pianist who wanted to have her grand piano and a harpsichord on the ground floor, in contact with the rear patio and garden. Thus, and on this floor, a central staircase, in exposed concrete, divides the entrance of people and cars of this Music Room, well-lit by a long-glazed window. On the first floor, the central staircase becomes a lighter and more transparent metallic structure, articulating the kitchen (facing the street) with the living room (facing the rear patio). On the top floor, the same staircase culminates on a landing, connecting the front room to the rear room, both served by their own restroom.
To this typological simplicity corresponds an architectural design simplicity: exposed concrete ceilings; plastered walls; floors, window frames, and kitchen furniture in wood; and the punctual use of marble in restrooms.
The most sophisticated details are applied to the key elements of the project: the central metal staircase and the front and rear facades. The staircase is formed by two flights joined by a semicircular landing, with its steps lined with wood. It is complemented by a linear iron handrail, designed as a perimeter semicircle, but also as a central triangle. The façades are made of exposed concrete with a delicate draped shape over its raw texture, generated by a wooden formwork mold.
Seen from the street, this house lives among the eclecticism of the neighbouring buildings, contrasting with their shapes and colours, not for its exuberance, but for its narrowness, verticality, and simplicity.
This project seeks to dialogue with a long architectural tradition in Porto and other European cities of medieval and bourgeois origin. To this end, it reinvents the traditional lot in these cities – narrow in width and long in length – proving that it can be adapted to new ways of living.
This house is simultaneously simple, in its typology, and graceful in the design of its structural elements. This design philosophy can set an example for future interventions, which have to deal with the same type of lot, and do not wish to disguise their contemporaneity, nor be ashamed of their frugality.