House in Rua do Paraíso by Fala Atelier

An unexpected complexity

Project Specs


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A bourgeois 19th century single family house was to be divided into a series of identical studio apartments: four living spaces, some circulation areas and a private backyard. The project happens within a given system of constraints, aiming at an unexpected complexity, finding a certain interest within a very banal set of programs.

▼住宅外观,exterior view


Unorthodox everyday spaces are built according to a clearly defined syntax and grammar. The four living rooms are different from each other while sharing the same language, the same set of figures. A defined number of elements – morphemes – within which the project operates: the stepped wall, the curve, two doors (one pink and one green), the striped surface of the floor. The living area becomes a gallery space.

▼室内空间,interior view

▼阶梯式的墙壁、弧线、绿色或粉色的门是贯穿公寓的相同元素,the stepped wall, the curve, two doors (one pink and one green) and the striped surface of the floor are defined number of elements

▼每间起居室都是一个展厅般的开阔空间,the living area becomes a gallery space

▼阶梯墙壁细部,stepped wall detailed view


The front facade is almost unchanged. The shabby tiles are replaced by polished green marble contrasting with the roughness of the existing granite frames. A circle of white marble is added to balance the composition.

▼临街立面,front facade


The back facade is rebuilt. It becomes taller to match the neighbours scale, like a mask or a temple, with two square windows framing interior scenarios. The polished facade has a bold pattern of vertical stripes assembled with white, green and black marble, creating a rich, yet flat, surface. The entrance door is hidden within the pattern and a brass circle ends the piece. The pattern disguises the scale of the building and its program while being unnecessarily proud and exuberant. The back facade becomes a painting for neighbours to look at, a main facade for private use.

▼条纹大理石立面成为一幅颇具观赏性的壁画,the back facade becomes a painting for neighbours to look at, a main facade for private use



▼总平面图,site plan

▼室内立面,interior elevation

Porto, Portugal; 2017
FALA ATELIER: (filipe magalhães, ana luisa soares, ahmed belkhodja, rute peixoto, lera samovich, paulo sousa)
CLIENT: domingo discreto lda
CONTRACTOR: engilaco lda
PHOTOGRAPHY: ricardo loureiro

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