Modern Heritage Homes: The Sao Francisco House | NONAGON.style
When Minimalism Meets Tradition: Inside the Sao Francisco House

When Minimalism Meets Tradition: Inside the Sao Francisco House

This modern heritage home defies all expectations

Written by –
Jess Ng
on September 5th 2018
Jess loves good design! She spends her weekends exploring the sights, sounds and architecture of the world. Another favorite activity is taste-testing local delicacies.
Project:

Sao Francisco House

Photographer:

In the Portuguese city of Guarda, the Sao Francisco House immediately turns heads with its pink facade and landscaped garden. As modern heritage homes go, it’s an instant charmer. And that charm is only amplified by the intriguing mix of minimalist sensibility and architectural tradition which lies behind its stone fronted doors. Let’s take a closer look.

Modern Heritage Homes: Striking candy pink facade and landscaped garden exterior of the Sao Francisco House by FPA | NONAGON.style

Back to the Future: Modern Heritage Homes

The Sao Francisco House lies at the heart of the city, surrounded by an architecturally diverse collection of buildings. A visual sweep of the area results in a whistle stop tour of the past; a real life timeline of the successive city growth stages, right before your very eyes.

Modern Heritage Homes: Classic pink facade and landscaped outdoor gardens of the Sao Francisco House by FPA | NONAGON.style

The home was originally built in the early 20th century but had fallen into disrepair when Filipe Pina Architecture (FPA) came to the project in 2016. Parts of the exterior had lost its shine and architectural splendor. Meanwhile inside, an already gloomy interior had amassed into a series of messy, obsolete and isolated rooms.

Modern Heritage Homes: Contemporary minimalist living room of the Sao Francisco House by FPA, complete with original rustic wood beams | NONAGON.style

“The clients wanted a pragmatic solution to the project, [and were] ‘willing to renew and rehabilitate the house with minimum demolition and in the most economical way’ – FPA

Modern Heritage Homes: Bright contemporary minimalist room of the Sao Francisco House by FPA, with original blue and white decorative wall tiles | NONAGON.style

Minimalism Meets Tradition

Keen to preserve the home’s architectural heritage, FPA decided to keep as much of the original features as they could.

Modern Heritage Homes: Minimalist kitchen with original decorative floor tiles and antique wood door in the Sao Francisco House designed by FPA | NONAGON.style

In the kitchen, a beautiful decorative tile floor and antique door have been integrated into the studio’s signature minimalist style. White walls and ceilings help to bring light into the once boxed-in space, elevating this simple kitchen to another level of design luxury.

Modern Heritage Homes: Bright monochromatic minimalist living room with original rustic wood beams in the Sao Francisco House by FPA | NONAGON.style

Meanwhile, in the living quarters, original rustic beams and an old fireplace adds depth to the open, neutral-hued spaces. The overall feel is warm and welcoming – a sharp contrast to the abrupt starkness of typical minimalist spaces.

Modern Heritage Homes: Bright white minimalist hallway with sliding door panels and decorative blue and white tiles in the Sao Francisco House by FPA | NONAGON.style

Out in the hallway, this sliding door feature is an especially clever interpretation of the old meets new philosophy. While not original, the decorative blue and white panels are a hark back to the intricate details of traditional Portuguese design. A reference that can be hidden by a wall of unadorned white when the minimalist inside strikes.

Modern Heritage Homes: Bright minimalist hallway with decorative tile panels and wood floors in the Sao Francisco House by FPA | NONAGON.style
Modern Heritage Homes: Bright white minimalist bedroom with wood accents and hanging bulb lighting in the Sao Francisco House by FPA | NONAGON.style

Hidden in Plain Sight

Part and parcel of the minimalist aesthetic is an ostensible lack of material ‘stuff’. However, the realists among us know that this is sometimes hard to translate into reality. Luckily for the occupants of the Sao Francisco House, the FPA team came up with an elegant solution.

Modern Heritage Homes: White minimalist bedroom with hidden floor to ceiling wall storage and hidden door in the Sao Francisco House by FPA | NONAGON.style
Modern Heritage Homes: White minimalist bedroom with hidden floor to ceiling wall storage and window detail in the Sao Francisco House by FPA | NONAGON.style

Floor to ceiling storage, and even a bathroom, have been hidden into the walls of the bedroom. This allows for practicality without compromising on the commitment to sleek minimalism.

Modern Heritage Homes: Bright minimalist bedroom with low height futon and vintage mirror in the Sao Francisco House by FPA | NONAGON.style
Modern Heritage Homes: Gray minimalist bathroom with wood accents in the Sao Francisco House by FPA | NONAGON.style

Final Thoughts

Overall, the Sao Franciso House is a lesson in defying expectations. From the outside, historic heritage reigns supreme. Yet inside, contrary to its classic shell, guests are met with a minimalist aesthetic – all wood floors and neutral walls – which works to make the indoor spaces feel light, bright and decidedly modern.

Modern Heritage Homes: Bright white minimalist hallway with wood staircase and hanging bulb lighting in the Sao Francisco House by FPA | NONAGON.style

Nevertheless, journey a little further into the heart of the home and, once again, expectations are upended. This time, minimalist anticipation is met with touches of tradition; an original decorative tile here for instance, and an antique wood door there. All in all, in the manner of all great modern heritage homes, the Sao Francisco House stands testament to the recurring allure of mixing the old with the new.

What do you think of modern heritage homes? Do you love mixing the old with the new?

 

Want to see more home tours? Head on over to our ‘Home Tours’ page! Recent favorites include the stunning beachfront Beachyhead Home and the eclectic home of designer Sarah Ward.

 

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