PF architecture studio turns a 19th-century block into 11 apartments of different typology

located in rua de d. joão iv, porto, the pedro ferreira architecture studio’s (PF architecture studio) ‘casas da baixa’ is subject to refurbishing a small 19th-century block into a modern multifamily dwelling. the intervention intends to hierarchize and reorganize the existing typologies, reformulating the whole and designing several independent housing units.

casas da baixa, rua de d. joão IV

the apartments vary between studio, 1-bedroom, and 2-bedroom typologies, maintaining the constructive principles of the pre-existing structure. in spite of its advanced state of degradation, the organic and vernacular layout of the whole was so evident that it became the starting point for the conceptual definition of PF architecture studio’s design.

free-floor apartment with mezzanine

the original construction system, consisting of sturdy walls in granite, floors, roofing, and wooden structures, was mostly preserved apart from few replacements and corrections. the result is 11 interdependent apartments that can either have individual or shared access, where the white of the walls and ceilings contrasts with the warmth of the pinewood floors, creating a consistent dialogue between the preexistence and the intervention. the typologies are marked by the variation of finished floor levels and use of the attic area, resulting in free-floor plan apartments in which the mezzanines play a remarkable role in the interpretation and living of the interior space. 

free-floor apartment


detail: stairs

living room


section 1

section 2


designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

edited by: maria erman | designboom

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