An Architect Renovates His 1920s Home in Portugal, While Preserving the Exterior Shell

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By Michele Koh Morollo / Published by Michele Koh Morollo
The original facade of a 1920s house in Estoril, Portugal, is preserved, despite a full interior overhaul.

When Portuguese architect Ricardo Moreno revamped an old 1923 house in Estoril in order to make it his home, one of his main goals was to respect the original structure of the building and renovate it in a sustainable way with eco-friendly, recyclable materials.

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He preserved and updated the outer handmade brick-and-stone walls by covering them with a lime-sand mortar, which was mixed with shredded cork to improve thermal performance and control interior humidity levels.  

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Though the external appearance of the house—including all the windows and doors—were unaltered, the interior spaces of the 4,865-square-foot house received a full overhaul. 

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On the ground floor, wood was used for the walls in the living, kitchen, and dining areas.   

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A staircase carved out of a wooden volume in the middle of the living area leads up to the floor above, which is dominated by white walls. The bedrooms and a large attic-loft, which is used as a work-and-play space, are located on this upper level.

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The result is a bright, Portuguese home designed in a clean, formal style, where contemporary interiors exist in harmony with the house’s historical shell.

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