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O

ur owner asked the architects of Urbastudios in Porto, Portugal, to turn this space into a special mini-apartment to be rented out to four/ five people visiting the city, one of those places you want to come back to or recommend to friends. So, on the third and last floor of a late nineteenth century building, coming up to the river Douro in the historic heart of this beautiful Portuguese town, an extremely unique thirty six square metre space was born: the Green House. Like its architect Nuno Alves de Carvalho points out, it’s a surprise as well as a contradiction.

 

 

It looks like a little house with a front yard, almost like a patio or a courtyard. This was precisely the concept behind this project: to pack bedroom and services in one half of the loft, freeing up the other side, to be used as a living room for entertaining guests. 

 

the loft split into bedrooms, bathroom and kitchen, shown in green, and living room, shown in white

The drawing illustrates how the loft has been split into bedrooms, bathroom and kitchen, shown in green, and living room, shown in white.

 

The entire bedroom quarter is in green, every surface, floors, walls and ceiling are clad in painted MDF. The downstairs bathroom is in a blind spot, but it’s still lit from above, there’s a galley kitchen along the entrance corridor and the first of the two bedrooms with a double mattress simply placed on a raised platform. Simple timber slats form a subtle vertical screen for a minimum amount of privacy.

 

The apartment faces a tiny balcony with a panoramic view over the old town centre of Porto.

The living room, clad in plasterboard painted white, brakes off from the little green house. Both windows face onto a small balcony with a panoramic view over the old town centre of Porto.

The entrance door, and a galley kitchen in the passage that leads to the living room.

The entrance door, and a galley kitchen in the passage that leads to the living room. Counter top in beautiful Estremoz marble, a type of Portuguese marble in a shade of pale pink.

The nineteenth century roof structure was still in its original state. The second mezzanine bedroom was achieved by removing the ceiling thus gaining 13 sqm. 

Images of the roof during the refurbishment project.

The bedroom on the mezzanine

Minimalist as well as romantic. A simple ladder leads to the mezzanine bed. 

 

The city of Porto absolutely deserves a visit: the historic town centre on the river, the old coffee shops and the extraordinary Lello & Irmão bookshop which dates from 1869. It’s widespread that this bookshop inspired JK Rowling, while she was teaching English in the city, to depict one of the most iconic places in all of the Happy Potter books, and if you come here there won’t be any doubt about that. Contemporary architecture is also present with the magnificent Casa da Música, a masterpiece by Rem Koolhaas. You really should go, and staying at the Green House would be the cherry on the cake of a most memorable trip!

 

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Design project

Renovation of a mezzanine loft 

Location:
Porto, Portugal
Siye: 36sqm + 13 sqm mezzanine

Interior design project:  
URBAstudios,
Architect Nuno Alves de Carvalho
Rua das Taipas, 133, Porto, Portugal
Tel: 00 351 933 205 999
Email: info@urbastudios.com
Website: urbastudios.com

Photos:

Courtesy URBAstudios
Copyright João Morgado

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