Porto-based architecture studio Paulo Moreira has recently refurbished Casa Zaire, a tiny house located at the rear of a modernist building in Rua do Zaire, Porto. The transformation of this tiny hidden house, where the porter of the main building once lived, has brought it back to life. Its isolated position in relation to the street and to urban life led the design team to interpret this small building as an autonomous ‘object’.
On the ground floor, the studio intervention consisted of reshaping the connections between the hall, bathroom and living area. The kitchen, side balcony and stairs connecting to the upper level were placed along the outer walls, freeing up the central space for a small dining table.
The tiled flooring was kept despite its ‘worn’ look. Various adjustments and improvements were made to the bathroom using simple and affordable materials. Small gestures create empathy between the architecture and the mundane objects of day-to-day existence. In the bedroom, a level difference was created, allowing storage areas to be optimized and the bed to be repositioned. Particular attention was dedicated to the textures and materiality, producing unexpected relationships between the materials.