a monthly round-up of the world's best interiors and design stories
Friday 21 Jun 2013
Situated in the exclusive suburbs of Porto, this house, with its somewhat austere appearance , is transformed each weekend into a holiday home where the children and friends of the owners come to relax.This house came about with a simple photo taken in an instant at a street corner...while on holiday in Rome with the owners, the combination of brown brick and travertine marble in a building caught Jacques Bec's eye. Only the land was there, the rest had to be invented...Jacques remembered the photo taken in Rome and this was the basis for the future home, starting with the union of chiaroscuro, light and dark, where the interior constantly meets the exterior thanks to the subtle lighting effects with the underlying theme being the ubiquitous of stone. The imagination and the cultural background of the two designers did the rest.
Almost without thinking, Jacques and Artur Miranda imagined the concept of a huge atrium, a central point from where all the rooms can be reached, as in the plan of an old house. The huge living room serves as a junction through which people can pass if they prefer not to pass through the pathways lined with columns around the house. Artur and Jacques decorated the house using many of their creations, but they have skillfully combined them with the furniture from the owner's old house, overcoming what could have been a constraint and turning it into a singular and original medley of genres. While the owners living quarters are on the ground floor, a basement has been dug out to house spare rooms and living quarters for members of staff, the entire house spreading through a total of 1900 sq m.
Separating without isolating was the watchword for this house. The fireplace is accessible on each side accentuating the feeling of transparency that pervades the house. Like Roman villas, the central atrium is both a source of light and an assembly point and one can choose staying close to the fireplace or to face the garden on the other side.The decorative pattern of the marble floor follows the directionality of movement, so the corridors along the colonnade allow a convenient path to bedrooms, basement or dining room.