In the Atlantic island of São Miguel, in the Azores, an old stable from the beginning of the 20th century was converted into two guesthouses where history and contemporaneity coexist in balance.
Project: Pink House
Typology: Guest Houses, Hospitality
Architecture, Interior Design And Product Design: Mezzo Atelier
Team: Joana de Oliveira, Giacomo Mezzadri
Client: Pink House Azores
Project Year: 2013/2016
Project Construction: 2016/2017
Location: Ponta Delgada, S. Miguel Island (Azores, Portugal)
Construction: Arco Mais
Photography: Fernando Guerra
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The design’s main goal was to keep the construction’s character, lines, and its rural atmosphere, while adapting the enclosed structure to a completely new typology and contemporary regulations. New openings where carefully shredded in the colored façades, as well as on the stone wall, and a new volume was added to the main construction, allowing for a second, smaller house to appear integrated in the whole.
The bigger house develops in two levels: the ground floor opens to the surrounding exterior spaces and reaches out to it’s different heights, creating a semi-level floor where a social space gives access to the private suites and service area. The upper floor contains the social spaces and it was designed as a free plan so it could be taken advantage of the roof’s structure and it’s full height. From the ochre kitchen there’s an access to a terrace situated on top of the smaller ground floor house.
New elements, as the exterior stairs, connecting the outdoor terrace, or the use of whitened wood in the interiors, are re-interpretations of the Azorean vernacular architecture, which was important to dignify. The aged pink and ochre tones are the main identity of the area where the building sits. The ochre was traditionally used to frame windows and doors, at Pink House it was used instead on the bedrooms interior shades and kitchen, adding a new kind of relation between inside and outside views.
The interiors and custom made furniture were carefully designed in order to create a neutral and peaceful atmosphere, allowing the garden views to be proeminente on the inside spaces. Local cryptomeria wood ( japanese cedar) was used abundantly for construction and furniture and old wooden beams of pine and acacia, found on site were converted into custom made tables.
Giacomo Mezzadri and Joana Oliveira are Mezzo Atelier, a young Italian/Portuguese architectural and design practice working as a studio and as a practical laboratory. Since 2013, the two architects with different professional backgrounds, run a multidisciplinary atelier developing architectural projects; interior design; temporary structures and self produced objects and furniture.
Inspired by Bauhaus’ concept of global art, their goal is to design spaces and objects as a hole, achieving a complete customisation for each project and client. The control of each step of the design process is fundamental, working from the concept until the production and realisation of the pieces on their workshop, whenever the project’s scale makes it possible. This approach to the design practice makes it possible to depend less on third parties and develop hand-made and unique pieces. Fascinated by craftsmanship, they bring to life traditions trough their contemporary pieces and associate ancient methods with new technologies.
In 2017 the studio completes a barn conversion into two guest houses in Azores called the Pink House and more recently two exhibitions in Cascais and Algarve with Milton Green’s photos of Marilyn Monroe were inaugurated and signed by the duo.
The atelier has completed interior design projects and Taylor made furniture for Base Milano – co-work & design hostel in Milan; Beer Show Bar & Store in Milan; Locanda, an Italian Bistro in Amsterdam; Cafe dei Mercanti in Piacenza or Mezzo Mercato Stands for Albert Heijn in Heindhoven.
In 2015, Mezzo Atelier was commissioned by Walk&Talk public art festival to design their headquarters in Ponta Delgada, which resulted in the internationally published wooden architecture: “The Big Horn”. The partnership with the festival developed a year later when the studio was invited to co-curate their urban art circuit and in 2018 will design their first W&T Pavillion.
In 2016 the studio developed two temporary installations: “Walk in Cinema” for Concorto, an Italian Short Film Festival and “Landscale” for Lapa in S.Miguel Island.
The atelier has exhibited its work during “Fuori Salone” – Milano Design Week, at Base Milano in 2016, and at Piazza XXIV Aprile at 2014. Mezzo Atelier has been invited to tutor self-construction workshops like Insitu in Trafaria, Portugal; Walk & Talk festival in Azores and for ONG organisation Save the Children for Expo Milano in Italy. Joana Oliveira and Giacomo Mezzadri have been invited to present their work at Autonoma University in Lisbon; Architecture University Politecnico di Milano; Pecha Kucha Design Week in Milan; Design in Corso festival in Brescia; Azores Architecture Seminar in Ponta Delgada and in Walk & Talk in Azores;