- Nelson Resende, a house in Ovar, Portugal
In his restoration of a house in the historical centre of Ovar, a Portuguese town about 40 km south of Porto the architect Nelson Resende has grabbed at the opportunity to add value to the existing building through a series of eye-catching and thoughtful actions. The common denominator of the house in Rua Dr. José Falcão is respecting the materials and style of the past without sacrificing more daylight and more comfortable interiors.
So, the part of the house on the street front still has the original windows and facades clad with azulejos. A theme that Resende picks up again on the folding metal doors of the adjoining garage whose white decorations on a blue background clearly reference the pattern of the azulejos. The garage itself is multifunctional because you can enter it from the back courtyard with the annex that houses the laundry or straight from the actual house.
Nelson Resende has stripped back the various layers of prior renovations inside to reveal and preserve the decorative elements in all their former glory. So, the walls with their original motifs on the ground floor mark the various rooms with timber floors, connected by the floor to ceiling, white doors. The cubic volume of the understated, white kitchen is also a stand-out feature on the ground floor.
A timber staircase leads up to the loft-style attic. Here, a bathroom is enclosed in a blue cube, while the long sides have been designed as cupboard walls, strictly white like the exposed beams. The room is lit by the two windows at the ends and by new bay-window style openings in the roof.
The architect Nelson Resende shows that it really is possible to craft something fresh and welcoming from an old building without sacrificing the brightness and spaciousness of contemporary architecture by adopting an attentive design approach based on retaining the local style and preserving the scale of the existing urban fabric.
Project: Nelson Resende - http://www.nelsonresendearquitecto.com/
Location: Ovar, Portugal
Images: © João Morgado