The project makes an extensive renovation and expansion of a mid-century townhouse close to Porto´s city center. The original two floor dwelling was built in 1950 in a joint operation with the two adjacent buildings. During the course of years the house was transformed in random operations, striped from the original layout and qualifying architectural elements. The project faced the challenge of converting the neglected interior spaces into a contemporary environment with an economically sustainable approach.
The house has been completely reconfigured and a new contemporary language of space and light introduced throughout. Stripped down to its basic elements, only a few structural components and main façade were preserved and re-integrated into the proposal. Important changes mainly involve the intermediate floor, where the need to obtain a practical living area in a close relationship with the garden required an expansion to the building. The new upper floor serves as a sleeping area, consisting of a single bedroom, bathroom and master bedroom. The added level emerges as a contemporary volume hovering above the original façade and neighbours, while preserving the existing character and integrity of the streetscape.
The staircase remains in its original location, although emphasis was given to the sculptural volume leading to the second floor and the openness of the first floor. All interior spaces are now exposed to natural daylight. The extension's skylight adjoins a new light source to the staircase, and infinite views towards the sky. Likewise, an additional skylight allows daylight to flood the upper bathroom. The garden elevation was reinterpreted by adding two large recessed and symmetrical openings towards the private courtyard, which subsequently provide additional natural lighting while managing solar gain in the summer.
"The Beacon sets to capture the essence of traditional lighthouses and trigger an emotional response from the local community, thus creating a surprising experience at Woodbine beach. The concept translates into the archetypical lighthouse conical shape, reduced to its simplest expression and conformed to the lifeguard stand proportions."
Photo credits: Steven Evans Photography
Plan B Competition (Metsä Wood). 2016
Over the course of the next century cities are set to face significant challenges to meet with the growing urban population and increasing housing demands. Too often the existing framework is overlooked and neglected, at great environmental, social and cultural costs. Because of their historical and cultural relevance, some of these sites oer an incredible opportunity for urban revitalization, new development and innovation. Maria Pia Bridge falls into the category of remarkable neglected urban structures. It is the most significant abandoned landmark in the city of Porto and the first major project implemented by French engineer Gustave Eiel. The railroad bridge was completed in 1877 and served continuously for 114 years up until its decommission in 1991, after the completion of the neighboring São João Bridge. It has remained abandoned ever since. Living Above the Bridge (LAB) is set to explore an hypothetical regeneration of this landmark. One that gives it a new purpose, focusing on the densification of its original form, creating new mixed-use spaces and reconnecting the two river margins in an unexpected way. Mixed-use bridges have deep roots in ancient Europe and the Mediterranean. Ponte Vecchio, in Florence, still testifies this unique form of urban settlement today. The design solution aims at creating the impression of an ethereal moving mass across the river, remnant of a steam engine cloud. The lightweight modular wood structures may be easily dismantled in the future, ensuring the complex has a reversible impact on the existing bridge.
SMART - CoWorking Space Design Competition 2015
Location: Beijing, China
"Directions provides a dynamic free-flowing environment that promotes a recognizable brand and distances itself from impersonal glass settings or trendy reuse-themed spaces. The design strategy positions space as a tool to balance privacy, collaboration and talent attraction by shifting away from uninviting open spaces, traditionally enclosed or fully transparent glass offices. The first step of the refurbishment was to enhance the existing open-plan layout and, from there, to incorporate the new interior’s vital characteristics – visually open, light-filled, community-oriented space. Highly flexible design elements and multi-layered transparency were used to address the primary function of the space: to attract and retain innovative thinkers with an environment that indulges collaboration, encourages social encounters and inspires creative thinking."
Bamiyan Cultural Center Competition 2015
Location: Bamiyan, Afghanistan
Considering all the briefing´s budget and program restraints emerged the idea that the new cultural center would not be an imposing monument, but a silent one. In addition, the building should be protected against the strong mountain winds and effectively deal with the local extreme temperature variations. Following this strategy, the building stands in a transition area between the plot´s two ground levels, with the building’s roof extending the higher ground and developing an apparently spontaneous and offset geometry. More than designing a single building, the adopted strategy increases the available outdoor area, while at the same time recreating the landscape as a determinant element for the spatial structure. The result is one of unobstructed views of the Bamiyan valley from almost every spot on site and a strong feeling of immersion into the landscape.
Recognizing the importance of the courtyard typology in local vernacular culture and architecture, all programmatic spaces are arranged around a central atrium, with a ring of fluid circulation connecting each internal area. This central courtyard provides generosity of space and a means of orientation within the building, and is furthermore a versatile space well suited to hosting art, archeology, installations and events.
World Bamboo Design Competition. Damyang, South Korea. 2014
Designing the Future
Designing the Future Competition 2014
Honorable Mention / Menção Honrosa
"A set of fully prefabricated and pre-assembled modules fit to be transported by road. With over 130 layouts adjustable to each client´s needs, the proposed system adapts to diverse types of conditions, exploring the contextual nuances of the physical site and promoting a harmonious integration with nature."