With a fire mast, children can slide down between floors in this house designed by Aurora Arquitectos in Lisbon, Portugal.
The building in which the house is located is on Bartolomeu Dias Street, west of central Lisbon.
Although the structure was almost completely in ruins, it was bought by a couple who wanted to build a house where they could live for the foreseeable future and raise their three young children.
Aurora Arquitectos was commissioned to carry out the residential conversion.
“This is an upstream project at a time when the city was gradually being freed of its residents under the pressure of tourism and property speculation,” the practice said.
“This is a project of resistance because it arises from a family’s desire to stay in their own neighborhood.”
The original building was two stories and only 60 square meters.
Since Aurora Arquitectos had to reconstruct almost the entire building, she decided to expand the structure to add three more floors and an additional 169 square feet of space.
The new part of the building was painted bright white.
“The family lived in the Netherlands for a few years in a typical town house, known as typology, with a vertical distribution of the program. So we can also say that this influenced the design process,” the practice explained to Dezeen.
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Inside, the traditional arrangement of the rooms has been reversed. The bedrooms are on the lower two floors, while the communal living spaces are spread over the upper three floors to enjoy the view of the nearby Tagus River.
This excludes the playroom, which is at the back of the main floor and has curved, built-in shelves for the kids to display their toys on.
The room can be reached via a fire service pole that extends directly above it from the children’s room.
“The family has three children and they enjoy spending all their time together, so the opportunity was to focus their sleeping area,” added the practice.
“But once they grow up and need separate bedrooms, the playroom can be turned into a bedroom and the bar area into a bathroom.”
Since the playroom faces a narrow alley that is often frequented by pedestrians, the rear view of the house has been fitted with oversized shutters that can be pushed over the windows.
On the front view of the house, the practice has simply restored the existing patterned tiles and freshened up the “Lisbon Green” color that is affixed to the doors.
The rooms on all levels of the house have wooden floors and white walls, wardrobes and lights. Perforated white metal forms the steps of some stairs.
A splash of color is created by a recessed window in the kitchen, known in practice as the “green eye” as it is lined with jade-colored Verde Viana marble.
On the fifth floor there is an outside terrace in the sloping roof of the house.
The terrace is backed by a glass wall that looks down onto the living room of the house on the fourth floor. There is a large window seat here where residents can sit and relax with a book.
Aurora Arquitectos was founded in 2010 by Sofia Couto and Sérgio Antunes.
The practice has completed a number of other projects in the Portuguese city of Lisbon – others include a brightly toned hostel that’s in an old family home and a renovated 1970s apartment with angular skylights and folding walls.
The photography is by Do Mal O Menos.
Architecture: Aurora Architects
Architecture team: Sérgio Antunes, Sofia Reis Couto, Carolina Rocha, Bruno Pereira, Tânia Sousa, Rui Baltazar and Dora Jerbic
Construction supervision: Consulted
Engineering: Zilva, Global, LDA
Construction: Mestre Avelino