The intervention carried out by the oitoo architecture studio also fits into this diverse context. The architects were commissioned to carry out the refurbishment and transformation of one of these former warehouses into a residence. In particular, that which immediately became clear to the designers, was the need to restore the value and overall coherence of the building and not just to adapt its structure to contemporary thermal comfort and energy efficiency standards. The pre-existing building, in fact, presented a disorganised ground floor, a former garage transformed into a living area, but without any relations with the generous external courtyard. In addition, it was necessary to respond to the clients’ requests, who wanted an adequate space to host large family reunions.
The project created by the oitoo studio responded to the various needs identified by introducing a new and important architectural element: a double height winter garden. The architects have inserted this new transparent volume, whose basic function is to mediate between inside and outside, in front of the "secondary" façade which overlooks the rear courtyard of the building.
The winter garden creates a new balance in the building, suddenly inverting the hierarchy of what was previously considered the "back”, the non-public façade and therefore the less important one, which has now become the "main" façade of the house, as well as an ideal place for family leisure time.
Through this space, the continuous living area of the house extends to the outdoor garden and vice versa, while at the same time creating a direct connection between the two levels of the building. The transparent and glazed volume of the winter garden, in fact, is not only important as it helps improve the climatic comfort of the building, but also becomes an important element of mediation between the ground floor and the upper floor, as well as between inside and outside.
Images courtesy of oitoo, photo by Adriano Mura
Project name: Oidouro House
Location: Oliveira do Douro, Gaia, Portugal
Year: 2019 (project) 2021 (completion)
Plot size: 1, 000 m2
Gross built area: 300 m2
Architects: oitoo https://oitoo.pt
Other participants (collaborators, consultants, etc): António Manuel da Silva Oliveira
Photo credits: Adriano Mura