textured white hues delineate boundaries within duarte caldas renovation in portugal

duarte caldas completes minimalist renovation in portugal


Duarte Caldas Architecture Design (DC.AD) has completed the renovation of a residential building in Cartaxo, about 60km north of Lisbon, Portugal. The intervention seeks to connect a series of fragmented architectural spaces, through textured hues of beige and white, concrete platforms, and wooden pillars, and thus establish a uniform living environment with minimalist aesthetics. The project was developed for a creative young couple who fled the capital in search of a quiet place to live and to launch their new artist residency program.

all images by Francisco Nogueira



achieving aesthetic, formal, and functional consistency


The architectural aspects of the original building were rather odd, with exaggerated disconnected elements resulting in a disjointed overall combination. The most difficult aspect of the refurbishment by DC.AD (see more here) was achieving aesthetic, formal, and functional consistency that would resignify the existing architectural setting.


All auxiliary features were removed from the façade, including low walls and paved walkways, and the openings were rearranged. Meanwhile, the outside flat surfaces were painted in beige and white tones to clearly identify the various volumes. The original water mirror was transformed into a swimming pool, and new platforms were built by altering the patio’s pavement elevations to accommodate a variety of outdoor activities.



high ceilings, skylights, and wooden beams


Inside, the room layout was generally maintained. The entrance is located on the west side, separating the social areas from the private ones. In the heart of the building, an open kitchen serves as a functional transitional zone between the intimate and common rooms of the house, the outdoor area, and the swimming pool. This main social area is a prominent characteristic of the project, thanks to its generous size, noble character, high ceilings, and its permeability. 


The wooden beams on the ceiling provide the interior with an inviting character while also supporting the skylights that draw natural light in. Below the skylights, there is a multi-level concrete podium that serves as a seating area, a long coffee table, and a planter to bring a touch of natural vegetation to the space. In addition, a large table in natural red travertine stone was designed to emphasize the proportions of the room.



immersive uniform interior experience


In the private wing of the house, the small courtyards to the south let light into the bedrooms and toilets. Each toilet is characterized by the use of a different color, underlined by the sinks in natural stone, combined in exactly the same shade. The master suite stands out for combining a living and working area in close proximity to the swimming pool with a long, white dressing room that provides unobtrusive access to the separate toilet and shower area.


The use of textured coatings throughout the interior, such as the beige and white of the walls or the cement of the floor, is in line with the logic used for the exterior surfaces. This helps to give uniformity to the whole while offering a welcoming and immersive experience of the different spaces.