Today we're going to look at a home reconstruction that weaves old and new in a daring yet respectful way. This 452 square meter home reconstruction in Estoril, Portugal was designed by Ricardo Moreno Architects and completed in 2011. The project was concerned with preserving the outer walls; the hand-made brick and stone masonry have been covered with lime-sand mortar mixed with shredded cork, improving the thermal factor of the home wile allowing the walls to breathe.
Wherever possible, ecological and recyclable materials have been used. The design seeks to recognize the history of the house, while at the same time, creating a contemporary and relevant space for living it the modern world. The home bridges time in a beautiful and thoughtful way.
From within the constraints of the outer walls a free and open space emerges. The more social and less personal spaces, such as the living, dining, kitchen and office, are located on the ground floor. The private spaces are suspended overhead in white volumes that elegantly contrast the original facade of the house.
The beautifully crafted renovation gives no hint to the dilapidated ruin that previously sat on the site. The contemporary additions contrast the original form, respecting the history of the home through preserving the difference between old and new. The home is afforded car access up the side driveway and into the garage, whilst a stunning traditional front entrance is maintained for guests; which we will take a look at next!
Here we can see the original walls of the home, with their traditional windows letting light inside. One might expect to walk in to a classic, 'walls and rooms' interior. The symmetry of the ornate and carefully maintained front yard is interupted by a more irregular garden, anchored around the beautiful tree. Perhaps this provides of clue of what lies ahead.
The transition offered through the location and articulation of the stairway, or even a single step, can be a beautiful moment in a home. And this timber belle is no exception. This act of moving from one space to another occurs abruptly through a doorway; opening and closing a door is a deliberate movement that we are very aware of doing. However, the shift of orientation that is implored by stairs and landings is far more subtle. The stair is more than a conveyor belt. The movements and sounds created as one ascends connect the steps like a sentence; giving access to the private areas, suspended above in white volumes.
The differentiation of this single first step, through the change in width and timber finish, punctuates the beginning (or end) of the stair. The effect of a single step cannot be underestimated; perhaps, it has even greater potency in its singularity. The landing and second flight, again, finds nuance in changing materials, enhancing the stairs rhythmic quality.
This bookcase wall between the dining space and the office articulates the dialogue between space and inhabitants, design and situation. It is only through the addition of the inhabitants books that an interface is created between these two spaces; providing a degree of separation. This interface, as a personal expression of the individuals, is entirely reflective of who is living within the space. Could the most subtle changes, such as the removal or addition of books create an indefinable, but perceptible, presence?
In this image we can see that the book case is open and accessible from the office space. The space is afforded separation and a degree of privacy from the rest of the home, but it does not feel disconnected. Glimpses, through the books, into the dining space and beyond unite this quiet space of work with the rest of the home. For more study and office ideas, take a look here!
The kitchen is well connected to the dining nook as well as the main living space. A very large kitchen island, much deeper than typical, allows for all of the preparation and cooking to by done around this central object. As you can see in this image, the material that is used for the book case creates a different quality of transparency dependent on the angle it is viewed from. From this angle, it ties in beautifully with the crisp white of the kitchen island. The stainless steel fixtures, bench top, and kick-plate around the bottom, exude a sophisticated industrial charm in the warm timber space.
After beginning our journey through this fascinating renovation with a sense of tradition we end it by stepping out into a back yard that is characterised by a refined and modern aesthetic. A dark timber slatted box protrudes from the original walls. The louvred over hang shelters the deck space from the elements, before we spill into the sleek and elegantly tiled pool. Don't you feel relaxed, just looking at it?
If you would like to see another exquisite renovation project, have a look at A Trendy Townhouse!