Ricardo Azevedo Arquitecto Updates a 1980s Rectilinear Residence

It’s rare that a project moves seamlessly from sketchbook to construction, with design and build happening simultaneously on-site. But that’s what happened with a residential commission in Porto, Portugal, by Ricardo Azevedo Arquitecto. It helped that architect and client shared a vision. “We spoke the same language,” founder Ricardo Azevedo recalls, “and that gave us total freedom.” He describes the finished product, a 1980’s rectilinear residence that he updated with exterior zinc cladding, abundant glazing, and a free flow between indoors and out, as “the house of a gardener…someone who belongs to the trees, to the breeze.”

Since that same client is a wine enthusiast, the project scope also encompassed an addition for storing bottles. Although it’s off the living area in the main residence, it’s markedly different in appearance: an amoebalike form inspired by Alvar Aalto’s early work faced in vertical slats of kambala. “It’s meant to contrast the rest of the house,” Azevedo continues, “to bring diversity and a touch of emotion.”

Slats reappear inside the single room, wrapping the 150-square-foot envelope, but this time they’re Afzelia, an exotic variegated hardwood. Following the addition’s curves is a grid of stainless-steel cables and fastenings that form shelves for some 250 varieties—Azevedo’s oenophilic endeavor successfully blending impressive display with easy selecting. Saúde!

Behind the Design of a Wine Enthusiast’s Home

an updated a 1980’s rectilinear residence
a wine storage room in a house

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