Completely left in terrible condition, a decrepit old building in Porto, Portugal, has now received a major overhaul from architecture practice Fala Atelier. Keeping the heavy granite perimeter wall and updating with lightweight materials on a tight budget, the project looks fresh and contemporary with a quirky twist — a curved wall.
“The house we were to refurbish was almost irrelevant,” explains Filipe Magalhaes from Fala Atelier. “The context, the construction, the condition… also, the budget was quite short for such a project.”
With little money to work with, they looked into how much of the existing structure could be retained, and what needed to change. It meant the biggest focus for the project was firstly the roof, and secondly the inner volume. One of the inspirations for the sloping roof design was that of the Sigurd Leweretnz’s Flower Shop in Sweden, thanks to its “proud metal roof”. The Ralph Eskine Villa’s vivid living room was also a touchpoint in the design process. Blending the Brutalist look and feel of those architectural structures, along with the signature blue doors featured in Fala Atelier’s projects, the Curved Wall home was born.
“It results from the intersection of existing walls, the pitched roof and the new curved wall; its form is quite special.” Having the clear plain white look for the walls, floor and ceiling allows the home owner to choose items for high contrast, which she loves.
Being highly involved in the design process, the personality of the home suits her tremendously with the quirky curved wall and rich colors in the rugs, textiles and furniture that accessorize the home.
The warming red and soothing blue colors are not only a feature inside the house, but begin from the get go. At street level the front door pops against the white wall, while the garage gate hints at the blue doors of the interior. It’s paired beautifully with a blue Porto sky!
With the building funneling down towards the rear of the house, big floor-to-ceiling windows overlook a picturesque garden. The garden was drastically changed from its original form. Despite offering plenty of land to play with, it was mostly unused and filled with trash. “We collaborated with an outstanding landscape architect Joao Magalhaes,” Filipe cheerfully describes. “He transformed — again with a very limited budget— the one hectare (107,639 square foot) piece of land into an amazing background to the house.”
The Curved Wall home shows a huge change from derelict to delight. If you’re interested in seeing other projects by Fala Atelier, make sure to check out their Graca Apartment in Lisbon!