Monte Cativo 434 is a minimalist interior located in Porto, Portugal, designed by JJs Arquitectura. The project makes an extensive renovation and expansion of a mid-century townhouse close to Porto’s city center. The original two floor dwelling was built in 1950 in a joint operation with the two adjacent buildings. During the course of years the house was transformed in random operations, striped from the original layout and qualifying architectural elements. The project faced the challenge of converting the neglected interior spaces into a contemporary environment with an economically sustainable approach.
The house has been completely reconfigured and a new contemporary language of space and light introduced throughout. Stripped down to its basic elements, only a few structural components and main façade were preserved and re-integrated into the proposal. Important changes mainly involve the intermediate floor, where the need to obtain a practical living area in a close relationship with the garden required an expansion to the building. The new upper floor serves as a sleeping area, consisting of a single bedroom, bathroom and master bedroom. The added level emerges as a contemporary volume hovering above the original facade and neighbors, while preserving the existing character and integrity of the streetscape.
The staircase remains in its original location, although emphasis was given to the sculptural volume leading to the second floor and the openness of the first floor. All interior spaces are now exposed to natural daylight. The extension’s skylight adjoins the new light source to the staircase, and infinite views towards the sky. Likewise, an additional skylight allows daylight to flood the upper bathroom. The garden elevation was reinterpreted by adding two large recessed and symmetrical openings towards the private courtyard, which subsequently provide additional natural lighting while managing solar gain in the summer.
Photography by Luis Coelho