fala atelier completes the house in rua do paraíso covered with marble stripes

fala atelier completes the house in rua do paraíso covered with marble stripes

located in porto, portugal, fala atelier’s ‘house in rua do paraíso’ is a bourgeois 19th-century single-family house divided into a series of identical studio apartments. using what seems to be its favorite material — marble — the team makes the house an outstanding modern piece of art while preserving important elements of the construction ages.

all images © ricardo loureiro



the architects created four living spaces, some circulation areas, and a private backyard as a common area for the inhabitants. ‘the project happens within a given system of constraints, aiming at an unexpected complexity, finding a certain interest within a very banal set of programs,’ explains fala team.



unorthodox everyday spaces are built according to a clearly defined syntax and grammar: the four living rooms are different from each other while sharing the same language, the same set of figures. a defined number of elements — ‘morphemes’, as the team calls them — within which the project operates is maintained in every apartment: the stepped wall, the curve on the ceiling, two doors (one pink and one green), and the striped surface of the floor. fala aimed at creating a gallery space within a living one and looks like they managed it.



the front façade is almost unchanged — the shabby tiles are replaced by polished green marble contrasting with the roughness of the existing granite frames. a white marble circle peculiar to fala atelier’s style is added to balance the composition.



the back façade is rebuilt and became taller to be a ‘temple’ for the neighborhood scale, with two square windows framing interior scenarios. the polished façade has a bold pattern of vertical stripes assembled with white, green, and black marble, creating a flat, yet very rich surface.



the entrance door is hidden within the pattern and another circle on the roof — this time made of brass — completes the piece. the façade’s pattern disguises the scale of the building and its program while being proud and exuberant. the back façade becomes a painting for neighbors to look at, a privately used main façade.




project info:


team: filipe magalhães, ana luisa soares, ahmed belkhodja, rute peixoto, lera samovich, paulo sousa

landscape architect: joão magalhães

client: domingo discreto lda

contractor: engilaco lda

photography: ricardo loureiro


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