A Former Fish Warehouse in Portugal Is Reimagined as a Brilliant Villa Filled With Light
Portuguese architecture firm Atelier Rua and Belgium-based interior design firm Studio Stories teamed up to deliver a carefully renovated rental property in southern Portugal’s Algarve region where guests can unwind surrounded by rolling hills, vibrant villages, and pristine coastal views.
Located in the quaint fishing town of Olhão, Casa Dois marks one of three converted Portuguese guesthouses within a growing portfolio from the Addresses, a boutique hospitality brand. Its updated design is anchored in a philosophy that stays true to the region’s heritage and overall atmosphere. "The Algarve’s good weather and traditional lifestyle were relevant to the design," says Francisco Freitas, principal architect of Atelier Rua.
The two-story guesthouse features a private outdoor space on both levels to "recreate the social and leisure spaces of a traditional Algarve home," adds Ana Tomé, who works alongside Freitas as principal architect at Atelier Rua. The outdoor gathering spaces also help to bring natural light inside the guest residence—a feat the architects achieved by taking advantage of the former warehouse’s existing architectural elements.
To create the main-level patio, for example, the architects demolished an existing vaulted ceiling while preserving two original arches to create an indoor/outdoor connection with the open-plan living spaces. From the private patio, an original spiral staircase leads to the açoteia (Portuguese for "rooftop terrace"), which offers impressive views of the Rio Formosa, the Algarve’s nearly 40-mile-long coastal lagoon.
Throughout the interior and exterior spaces, terra-cotta floors add warmth to the home’s primarily white palette. "One could say white is the color of the cubist city of Olhão," says Freitas. "White and terra-cotta elements are commonly used in construction throughout the south of Portugal."
Inside the guesthouse, Belgian design firm Studio Stories focused on "soft colors and earthy tones," says creative director Katrien de Jonghe. The team took advantage of the former fish warehouse’s "big curves and high ceilings" to render a calm and relaxed vibe throughout the interiors.
For the smaller details, de Jonghe’s team perused the region’s shops and flea markets to source a selection of handmade ceramics and vases. The interior spaces are intended to evoke the experience of "following the sun," de Jonghe explains. "We tried to create different corners that lend themselves to hanging out at different times of the day."
Casa Dois accommodates four people, with two bedrooms and two en suite bathrooms. While the specialized concierge service offered by the Addresses can help guests arrange local tours—such as horseback riding and surf lessons—visitors might find that one of the greatest rewards from staying at the Portuguese guesthouse comes from sipping a morning coffee on the rooftop and soaking up the surrounding coastal views.
To inquire about booking a stay at Casa Dois, please visit The Addresses website.
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Architect of Record: Atelier Rua / @atelierrua
Builder/General Contractor: RGL Engenharia & Construções
Structural Engineer: Pedro Fragoso Viegas
Civil Engineer: Acribia – Projetos de Engenharia
Landscape Design: Oficina dos Jardins
Interior Design: Studio Stories / @studio.stories
Photography: Francisco Nogueira / @francisconogueira
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