JoLa House by A2OFFICE | International Residential Architecture Awards 2020

A2OFFICE: Honorable Mention of International Residential Architecture Awards 2020. This project consisted in the refurbishment and expansion of a townhouse, opening some interior spaces, and bringing more natural light to the interior of the house.

The original building had very compartmented and dark interiors and the existing area was not completely sufficient to accomplish the program the clients had in mind. Thus, the exterior backyard was completely built and had practically no permeable areas, which was a major problem in rainy days.

Having the original conditions and the needs of the clients in mind 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, one 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. Like in the house, the facade is covered with double glazed window frames.

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.

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, so the light comes from different and hidden spots.

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, introducing this same material used in the staircase and in the visible structure of the annex building.

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.

In the upper floor were located three bedrooms and a common bathroom, maintaining the existing layout. In all bedrooms were designed fixed wardrobes and electrical window shutters for greater comfort.

Honorable Mention: International Residential Architecture Awards 2020 

Architects: Alberto Dias Ribeiro
Category: Residential Interior Built
Project Location: Vila do Conde
Team: Alberto Dias Ribeiro, Bernardo Faria, Débora Nojiri, Alexandra Marques
Country: Portugal
Photography ©Credit: Al.Ma Fotografia

A2OFFICE is a multidisciplinary studio of architecture and design headquartered in Vila do Conde, Porto, Portugal, formed by a team of professionals dedicated to the study and development of projects in these areas.

The studio is coordinated by architect Alberto Dias Ribeiro and by interior decorator Alexandra Marques.

The studio’s work has been recognized and disseminated continuously, since the creation of A2OFFICE in 2011, on international websites, magazines, and newspapers, both generalists and specialized in the dissemination of contemporary architecture and design.

A2OFFICE develops quality projects and services for private clients, firms, and investors.

IRA 2021