Casa em Olhão

Project: Casa em Olhão
Adress: Rua de São Sebastião.   
Architect: Studio ODS - all foto's Copyright
© Studio ODS
About the project:

The intervention consists of the rehabilitation of an existing house built at the end of the sec. XIX. The house is located in a fishing district on the western edge of the historic center of Olhão, the plot has 90m2. The house still retains many original elements of the vernacular architecture of Olhão, strongly related to an ancestral practice of fishing. Even after the various changes made over time, it was possible to rediscover and rehabilitate original elements such as the patio stairs; the observation deck on the roof, the vaults, and the limestone ashlars.

 

Only after demolishing the illegal constructions and removing all the industrial tile coverings, it was possible to understand all the natural beauty and spatial quality of the house. We found that the entry of natural light and ventilation had been blocked by consecutive additions built over time. The resistant walls in “caliça” stone masonry were in excellent condition, allowing them to be maintained in their entirety.

 

The intervention strategy was to create a dialogue between the original building and the new elements to be added with a contemporary approach. We opened a patio in one of the interior compartments of the house, allowing light and natural ventilation to enter the center of the house. This new element alters the house's relationships with the outside space and with the public space, reversing them to the interior of the courtyard in the center of the house.

 

The alcove, only accessible from the patio, was created as an extra and informal space to sleep, read, sit or meditate. On the first floor, two rooms have opposite relations with the public space, one to the north towards the main street and the other to the south towards the alley; in the center both are related to the patio through openings with different shapes, sizes and materials.  The floors with a 75x300mm piece in Santa Catarina brick, a local terracotta, white marble in specific elements, the white painted wooden window frames and the wooden entrance doors painted with natural dark blue oil, seek to interpret the balance between authenticity and simplicity found in the Algarve's vernacular architecture.