Rural house in Portugal transformed into contemporary loft-like space

Rural house in Portugal transformed into contemporary loft-like space

7 Aug 2020 Materialization

Located in a well-preserved village in the rural centre of Portugal, this small house, like many of those around it was closed and unused for more than half a century. Owned by the client’s family for decades, architect Henrique Barros-Gomes was tasked with transforming the space into a single bedroom vacation house, with area for the family to gather when needed.  

Credit: Ricardo Oliveira Alves Photography

The existing single story volume was originally constructed with thick exposed granite walls and a gable roof. A walled area, including an almost ruined porch, is a rustic complement to the fabric.  

Credit: Ricardo Oliveira Alves Photography

Maintaining the subtlety of the traditional exterior, the beautiful exterior walls are retaining, raising them to align with adjoining construction and allowing for a larger building volume and potential mezzanine. Despite the conservative approach taken to the exterior, the interior however is thoroughly contemporary, shaped into a comfortable spaces with loft like interior kitchen, living and eating areas.

Credit: Ricardo Oliveira Alves Photography

The main focal element is a customised stair-bench-table fireplace. This element accentuates the verticality of the double height area, and generates  internal geometries that thread through the entire project.

Credit: Ricardo Oliveira Alves Photography

Light is carefully controlled though wall and zenithal openings that produce dramatic effects against the bush-hammered stone and the wooden interior elements throughout the house. The customized carpentry adds a warmth to the space, while providing ample storage area.

Credit: Ricardo Oliveira Alves Photography

Outside, the walled patio includes a shed, a garden, several trees, a small stone clad pond and a new raised flower bed made from corten steel.

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