Preserving and enhancing – Portugal

House Two is located in an old warehouse, within a block in the historic center of Olhão, Portugal. With a strong Islamic influence, a fishing town presents an irregular and organic network of narrow roads and overlapping constructions, of recognised cubist buildings.
The existing building with 2 floors, high ceilings, vaulted ceilings, and roof terrace fits into popular architecture typology, which is intended to preserve, enhance, and re-adapt.
Designed by atelier RUA, the ground floor with a total area of 90m2, are the social areas of the house – kitchen and living room in open space, served by a new patio that appears with the demolition of a vaulted ceiling. The interior-exterior connection is made through the two pre-existing arches, whose dimension transfers a sense of continuity between them to the spaces. The patio is part of a set of outdoor spaces, one per floor, where the intention is to recreate the memory of the social and leisure experience of the traditional Algarve house. On floor 0, the patio with a dug tank, on floor 1 the base level of the original exterior stairs that connect to the roof terrace, overlooking the Ria Formosa.
On the upper floor, are the two bedrooms, en suite, where the original high ceilings are lowered to improve the comfort level of the compartments. The remaining space of these ceilings is used to incorporate infrastructural equipment.
The characteristic cladding of this type of construction is maintained or reconstituted, such as brickwork, present in all floors (interior and exterior), but an alternative addition, the white metallic element in the exterior spaces, present in the spiral staircases still stands out, in the guards and in the shading structure that punctuates the roof terrace.

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