Trofa, Porto, Portugal
author NOARQ - José Carlos Nunes de Oliveira program single family house renovation collaborators arch. Rui Cardoso, arch. Gonçalo Ferreira, arch. Diana Fernandes structures and hydraulic project A400 – eng. Francisco Bernardo comunications and electrical project GPIC – eng. Fernando Aires gas and climatization project GET – eng. Raul Bessa constructors Cardoso do Monte; Grupo So Soares, Euro 2000; Belriba; Area Vidro, Nelson Dias; Ordep; Granisope photography Arménio Teixeira intervention area 576.50 m²
The house had no outstanding quality, apart from maintaining the family memory. It was just a construction to me. Sometimes we are faced with situations we can't avoid and seem really absurd. There was 550 m² of space full of mannerisms spread over 3 floors, left to my ingenuity. 25 years after it was built, the house was at the limits of its capacity, it was unable to express more than a request to be refurbished. It would be easier and cheaper to rebuild it, I suggested. They rejected the idea. Keeping the structure was an order.
Maybe the absurd didn't exist. They entrusted me with the work, I am grateful.
We demolished the annexe at the bottom of the garden, a lake, the fountain, the roofs, eaves, cornicing and ornaments, balustrades and exterior decoration, a balcony, a "regional" style chimney, the fireplace, the interior stairs – all the rooms in the house. We opened slabs. We took down the roof, the carpentry, the door and window frames, fixed furniture, the metal and metal sheet. We chiselled away the floors, linings and the plaster. We removed the electrical and phone wiring, the drains, the sewers, the piping and the toilet fittings. We broke through ceilings and walls. We dug patios to illuminate the ground floor, driven into the hillside. All that was left was the patched volumetry in the middle of a crater. There was still a doubt about the savings. Was the memory worth the limited boundaries of the design, constrained by an old shell? We inserted a central staircase.
We redesigned in the interior spaces around the stairs using the existing structure, in a sequence of communicating vessels: laundry, kitchen, breakfast room, dining room, social zone and entrance. 4 bedrooms on the upper floor. Games rooms on the lower floor.
We corrected the volumetry, we widened and cut out new openings using the existing ones.
We protected the exterior walls with plastered thermal insulation. We introduced a lift platform and air conditioning. We replaced the door and window frames. We chose four materials: plaster on the ceilings and walls, Ataíja in the damp zones, Afzelia on the floor and white granite outside.