Completed in 2020 by Portuguese Architecture firm Paulo Merlini Architects CASA RIO (RIO House) is a contemporary intervention in an old farmhouse located in the Porto District, in the north of Portugal. The core of the project and the basic concept for its development arises from the previous existence of three even smaller houses, where a divided program appears depending on its use.
Casa Rio Technical Information
- Architects: Paulo Merlini Architects
- Design Team: Paulo Merlini, André Santos Silva
- Location: Gondomar, Portugal
- Topics: Houses, Renovation
- Area: 350 m2
- Project Year: 2013-2020
- Photographs: © Ivo Tavares Studio
Our intention was to create a strong contrast between the two floors. On the ground floor a rougher materiality, denouncing the tectonic of the construction, with a very strong relation with the exterior space. In the upper floor, the feeling of a typical Portuguese country house.
– Paulo Merlini Architects
Casa Rio Photographs
Text by the Architects
The project results from the remodeling of an old farmhouse located in a yet very rural city. By disassembling the old facade’s poor materials, we discovered that the house was actually made up of three small houses built according to the former owner’s needs.
This was the key premise for creating our project, maintaining the original volumes’ structure and assuming their original shape uncovered, unifying them through a slab perforated by a central patio that fills with light the entire social area, located on the ground floor. A garden roof finish on this central slab offers a new intimate garden to all rooms and private areas of the house.
A central patio fills with light the entire social area, located on the ground floor. A garden roof finish on this central slab offers a new intimate garden to all rooms and private areas of the house.
In terms of materiality, we intended to create a strong contrast between the two floors. On the ground floor, rougher materiality denounces the construction’s tectonic, transmitting the sensation of living inside a granite excavated mass, with a robust relationship with the exterior space. And in the upper floor, the three original houses’ geometry is denounced throw their materialization as pure white volumes, flooded with light. On this floor, the high right feet, the wooden shutters, the white and the wooden floors recreate the feeling of a typical Portuguese country house.
Casa Rio Plans
Rio House Image Gallery
About Paulo Merlini Architects
Highly motivated by their personal motto US IS MORE, this Portuguese studio’s main concern is to create spaces that give people the right stimuli, positively influencing their homeostatic levels. This is a concern based on the notion that the speed imposed in the last hundred and fifty years has sent us apart of our natural evolving speed. As creators of this new world, we have an obligation to adapt external space to our bodies and not the other way around.