The Green House – Historical Apartment in Porto Gets a Modern Makeover

This tiny apartment is based in a 19th century building, set in the historical city center of Porto, Portugal. The single room apartment has been left in a damaged state and required substantial work to make it fit for use again.


A local architecture firm by the name of URBAstudios were enslisted to transform the space from an uninhabitable room, to a modern tiny apartment complete with two bedrooms.

The Green House - URBAstudios - Portugal - Interior - Humble Homes


The project, titled The Green House, was completed in 2016. It features a total floor area of 527-square-feet (49-square-meters) including the small mezzanine. The main floor level alone is 388-square-feet (36-square-meters). The work was carried out on the behalf of a client who had a limited budget.

The Green House - URBAstudios - Portugal - Kitchen - Humble Homes


The client asked for a complete apartment suitable for short-term renting, and capable of accommodating 4-5 people without compromising on privacy – no small feat in a property of this size. URBAstudio wanted to remove the impersonal and sense of impermanence often found in short-term rentals.

The Green House - URBAstudios - Portugal - Bathroom - Humble Homes

They first set about introducing the loft. Being set at the top of the building, it was possible for them to expand into the attic. Not only did it provide them with some much needed space, but it also helped visually transform the apartment into a “home”.

The Green House - URBAstudios - Portugal - Bedroom - Humble Homes

After this, the remainder of The Green House was split into two sections: one green and one white. The green side has two levels, and contains the entrance, kitchen, bathroom and bedroom, with a second sleeping area in the loft accessed by a ladder.

The Green House - URBAstudios - Portugal - Floor Plan - Humble Homes

The white side is a double height room, and facilitates the living room. There’s also a small balcony accessed by the the living room that features panoramic views of the city beyond it. From the architects: “Although small, this design responds to the functional needs of the programme and aims at creating a spatial experience based on the feeling of surprise and contradiction by having the image/ concept of a House in the 3rd floor of a building.”

For more apartments check out this property from Vilnius which features Scandinavian influences, and elements of glam. Or, this contemporary apartment redesign from Madrid. See all apartments.

Via ArchDaily
Photos: João Morgado

Niall Burke

Structural engineer by day, tiny house designer by night. Niall has a keen interest in small spaces, green design, and sustainability. He started developing Humble Homes while studying for his masters degree in engineering. He is the founder and managing editor of Humble Homes.