Lisbon-based architect Inês Brandão refurbished a 50-year-old barn in Leiria, Portugal to create a contemporary house for a young growing family.

“The aim was to maintain existing memories from a space that was once the stage to such varied experiences ‐ rural stories mixed with stories of young people from a controversial time,” said Brandão. “In the presence of such a special place, as the barn, We chose to protect it and elect it as the protagonist of the new home of a young growing family.”


A single new element is inserted in this space, almost like a furniture piece, that idea is accentuated by its own materiality – painted OSB. With a very small budget (the other goal), it was essential to create a compact element, bringing together all the new functions – kitchen, toilets, storage and staircase.


This “furniture” is fundamental in the compartmentalization of the social area of the ground floor, dividing the space between entrace area, living room, dinning area and kitchen. The top floor, wich served in other times, for drying grain, is overlocking the social area and works as a retreat space and working area. The choice of using OSB, an ecological and economic material, was quite easy, due to its structural characteristics and its plasticity.

“It was important, for me, to create a visual contrast between the floor (in portuguese pine) and the white walls and roof, but it was also important to assume the texture of the wood. The black color on OSB boards helped me at this point,” concludes Brandão.

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all images © João Morgado