Foz do Douro, Porto, Portugal

  • Year: 2010-2014
  • Client: Private
  • Area: 1.457,55 m² (15.688,93 ft²)
  • Number of floors above ground: 3
  • Construction area below ground: 52,95 m² (569,94 ft²)
  • Number of floors below ground: 1
  • Awards: Muse Design Awards 2019 - Platinum Winner - Architectural Design - Residential

  • Location: Foz do Douro, Porto, Portugal
  • Category: Residential

Located in Foz do Douro, in Porto, and sprawling over 7.850 m², Foz is a historical residence, about which documents have been known since the beginning of the 17th century. Initially linked to the Benedictines, it belonged to St. John the Baptist of Foz do Douro’s couto, owned by the Benedictine Monastery of Santo Tirso. Over the centuries it was inhabited by several Porto families, having been bombed between 1833-34, at the Siege of Porto.

The analysis carried out in the field – which is part of the “Special Protection Area / Archaeological Protection Zone” and classified as “Private Green Area to be Safeguarded” and “Property of Patrimonial Interest” – identified constructions of three distinct epochs. The challenge was to adapt the existing building to the day-to-day life of a new family, with the least possible impact on the former house, respecting its cultural and historical reference matrix. The proposal was designed to concentrate all housing programs inside the main building.

Existing constructive systems were preserved to the maximum and materials were used according to their specific nature. This was made in order to bring out and articulate the particularities of each of the elements of the building. In that sense, the colors and textures are designed to obtain a strong plastic unit and a better integration of the parts.