This traditional-looking building in Portugal was originally used as barn. Thanks to the help of architects Sofia Parente and André Delgado, it’s now a cozy small house with a rustic exterior and a crisp contemporary interior. The project was completed in 2015 and is set in the region of Viana do Castelo.
The renovation project, dubbed Nogueiras House, occupies an area of just 538 square feet (50 square meters). The building is set between a public road and a vineyard, and features views of the sea from the front. Before attempting to convert the barn to a house, the interior had to be gutted with an extra floor inserted.
The second floor provides a more private space for the sleeping area and only covers half of the floor plan, creating a double height ceiling in the living area and entrance. The lower level contains the more public living areas – the kitchen, living room/entrance and dining room.
A central hub on the first floor was introduced to contain the bathroom. It also has the effect of creating a degree of separation between the different living spaces. Aside from partitioning off the bathroom, the wooden unit serves as a structural support for the staircase, and features a pantry in the kitchen/dining area, as well as a closet at the loft level.
Due to the small floor plan, certain areas (deemed to be secondary living areas by the architects) were reduced in size to accommodate the main living spaces, such as the bathroom and bedroom closet. The house makes use of the original window openings, which creates plenty of play on light due to their relatively small size and the depth of the walls.
The white walls help to keep the space bright. The other main finish, birch plywood, can be found throughout and is used for the furniture pieces, kitchen cabinets and window trim. The floor of the ground level is finished in polished concrete. From the architects: “The chosen materials emphasize the luminosity and the neutral ambience of the open areas designed in the project.”