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Themed | Design & Small Scale

Adrian House



Short description

The Saint Adrian House, in its genesis, intended to offer just the bare minimum in comfort, health and hygiene under the standards of its time -standards that today, by themselves, would be considered unbearable. Built between 1935 and 1939, it was part of a set of social housing policies implemented in a time of severe lack of residences with minimal hygiene and health standards for the most excluded and disadvantaged classes. These economic houses were volumetrically very simple, featuring flat façades with simulated stonework details elaborated with mortar. This project, by consequence, aimed at not only producing an adequately performing construction for today (with the added challenge of not defacing the building, compromising its original merits and identity) but also, especially, to design inside its minimal areas a rich and pleasurable inhabiting experience, a home with a place for comfort, for serenity and for spaciousness. Several elements of the original construction that were already lost were recuperated, while its functional transformation was designed in a way that wouldn’t compromise its original values and identity. The plans were fine-tuned in order to produce the most livable, comfortable and efficient layout. The pine floorboards and white walls were brought back and Estremoz marble elements were introduced in the wet areas, with a very pragmatic and low-cost strategy. On the ground floor, the approach was to remove all the compartmentation and to redesign the staircase leading to the top floor in the most efficient way. The sleeping quarters' layout was also tweaked in order to make them identical, with a mechanized dividing wall receding up into the ceiling to create a large suite. In a context where limitations are always present, there had to be space for memory, for aesthetic experience, for the play of light over its interesting shapes, and for poetry.


Entry details
Location:Braga, Portugal
Lead designerTiago do Vale
Design teamMaria João Araújo, Camille Martin, Priscilla Moreira, Florisa Novo Rodrigues, Teresa Vilar, Clementina Silva, Hugo Quintela, Adriana Gomes
Photography creditsJoão Morgado
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