This project consisted in the refurbishment and expansion of a townhouse, opening some interior spaces and bringing more natural light to the interior.

Project Name: JoLa House
Studio Name: A2OFFICE
Website: www.a2office.net
Studio Location: Vila do Conde, Porto, Portugal
Completion Year: 2019
Gross Built Area: 160m²
Project location: Vila do Conde, Porto, Portugal
Lead Architect: Alberto Dias Ribeiro
Photo credits: Al.Ma Fotografia
Design Team: Alberto Dias Ribeiro, Bernardo Faria, Débora Nojiri, Alexandra Marques
Contractor: In-Proov

JoLa House By A2OFFICE - Sheet3
©Al.Ma Fotografia

The original building had very compartmented and dark interiors and the existing area was not sufficient to accomplish the program that the clients had in mind. Thus, the exterior backyard

JoLa House By A2OFFICE - Sheet6
©Al.Ma Fotografia

was completely built and had practically no permeable areas.

We started the project by demolishing the constructions in the backyard and the rear facade of the house, so it could be expanded. We had a very clear idea that the expansion should be very light, so the design we presented to the clients previewed a metal structure box covered with insulated panels and double glazed window frames. This big windows allowed  a very direct visual connection between the interior and the exterior, seen from the inside and by being reflective, they protect from excessive sun and views from the outside.

In the opposite corner of the plot, was created a small building for complementary uses. It has a visible pine wood structure that makes the dialog with the same material used in the interior of the house. The space between the annex building and the house is an open permeable space, with a part in wood deck and another part in grass. The interior and exterior floors, in the annex building and house, are completely aligned, so there are no steps. With this solution, it was aimed to achieve a very comfortable and direct connection between the interior and exterior, even for people with physical disabilities.

JoLa House By A2OFFICE - Sheet7
©Al.Ma Fotografia

The entire lower floor has been transformed into a continuous space, although with perfectly delimited and hierarchical functions, allowing a greater sense of space and brightness.

In the entrance, a gray cabinet appears to float in the space, stepping in the wooden staircase and holding the illuminated ceiling. This cabinet also hides indirect lightning coming from above and under.

The kitchen opens to the eating area and allows cooking while looking to the outside garden. In the living and eating areas were created wooden niches.

A new wooden staircase, lit by a generous lantern, connects the two floors and becomes the binding element. It also dialogs with the white cork pavements in both floors. This cork pavement, besides being a natural material, is a great thermal and acoustic insulation solution.

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