Harmony between Tradition and Innovation: The Restoration of the Casa dos anos 40

Frari casa anos em ilhavo.interno
Harmony between Tradition and Innovation: The Restoration of the Casa dos anos 40 it has been modified: 2024-04-23 di Benedetto Fiori

Architecture can be a constant dialogue between past and present, between tradition and innovation. It is precisely this balance that the Frari architecture office tried to achieve in the redevelopment project of the Casa dos anos 40 in the historic center of Ílhavo.

Built in 1945 and belonging to the characteristic Português Suave style, this house represented a fascinating challenge for the design team, who worked to preserve and enhance its historical heritage while adapting the spaces to contemporary needs.

The Casa dos anos 40 appears as an isolated work with two facades, built with raw earth bricks, a vernacular material typical of this region. Its main facade, although it retains good integrity, needed targeted intervention to improve thermal comfort. However, the real heart of the project was the restoration of the interior, which was in an advanced state of decay and devoid of the characteristic details of the time.

The approach adopted was to intervene with the utmost respect for the original design, making changes only where necessary. The front facade was the subject of a rigorous and sensitive intervention, with only the window frames being altered to improve thermal comfort, while keeping the overall aesthetics intact. The entire building was clad in white, a timeless color that recalls the elegance of the original era.

A key element of the project was the reinterpretation of the rear facade as a new main facade. The demolition of the external wall that enclosed the old covered balcony gave space to a permeable structure in natural wood, protecting the area without interrupting the visual relationship with the courtyard. A large balcony window introduces a new aesthetic to the first-floor master suite, whose layout has been significantly altered to meet modern needs.

On the ground floor, the interiors have undergone a severe reform, with the creation of a large open space that recalls a contemporary style, in stark contrast to the simplicity of the original design. On the contrary, on the first floor, all the original elements have been preserved, from the wooden floors to the doors and fixtures, with a hint of modernity in the choice of a totally white color palette.

The final result is a tribute to history and modernity, where respect for the past blends harmoniously with contemporary functionality and aesthetics. The Casa dos anos 40 now stands as a shining example of how architecture can be a bridge between different eras, celebrating the richness of Portugal's cultural heritage.

project info

Project name: House of two years 40
Architecture Office: Frari architecture network
Main Architect: Maria Fradinho
Collaborations: Ana Soares, Ana Rita Gomes
Rental: Ílhavo, Portugal
Year of conclusion: 2022
total area: 340m2
Builder: Antero Santos & Santos
inspection: Pedro Tavares
Engineering: Pedro Tavares

Architectural photographer: Ivo Tavares Studio
Website :

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