just enough : architecture : a surfer’s home : paratelier studio : portugal

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The design by the studio Paratelier (founded by Leonardo Paiella and Monica Ravazzolo in 2007) for converting a ruin – semi-abandoned and just used as a tool shed – into a micro-dwelling for a surfer, was a “lighting” installation carried out at low cost using local labour.

The project involved the restoration and conversion of the overall volume using the original construction method (laying of irregular blocks and local stones) reinforced with concrete mortar and the introduction of partition walls that divide up the space as well as providing storage.


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The design began with a process of considering and understanding the place: the reapproriation of a forgotten space whose layout was typical of Portuguese architecture, made up of small, compressed rooms. A sense of continuity was given by the local culture and traditional working methods.

The intention was to draw just three perpendicular lines on the facade, in a north/south direction. With the spaces completed, the original organisation was restored. Paratelier’s aim was to achieve an artisan condition, especially in the building of the walls and the creation of the two interior spaces.

Home and work are deliberately kept apart. The first space creates a central route, sequential and evolutive, thanks to two lightweight partitions that can house various objects inside. The second space, that is not continuous with the first one, is arranged as a place of work, completely separate from the first space with a single access from the outside.

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