Santa Teresa is a street located in the heart of the reborn Oporto downtown, a big urban area that slowly got abandoned in the last thirty years, but that has recently been subject of a radical change, either social, cultural, economic and architectural. PF Architecture Studio was invited to refurbish the Santa Teresa building, a typical nineteenth century Oporto house. The plant is a rectangle (5,50 x 20,00m) with centered but asymmetric stairs.
The challenge was to create the largest possible number of small apartments for temporary lease. The solution comes ironically from Malvina Reynolds Little Boxes song. The principle was of preserving the entire building structure, floors, walls, ceilings, doors and windows with their formal characteristics and unique tectonic, integrating small white, unpretentious and abstract boxes that house the new program elements such as kitchens and homes baths. The result are nine purged apartments, where the light plays a fundamental role in the space design.
Photography © Joao Morgado