Before and after: A townhouse in ruins becomes a beautiful home | homify
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Before and after: A townhouse in ruins becomes a beautiful home

Izelle du Pisanie Izelle du Pisanie
by Estudio de Arquitectura Sra.Farnsworth Scandinavian
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On homify today, we present to you an incredible project, located in Brazil. It is a reform that seemed impossible and a project that had a high level of difficulty. It had all been developed by the talented Spanish architecture firm,  SRA. Farnsworth.

In this ideabook, we will recount the story behind this reform which held an exciting venture, where the architects had to face challenges from the first stroke. The building in question has three floors, each consisting of about 27 square meters, all in a state that was screaming for total revitalization. Beyond this emergency, the intention of the owner was also to convert each floor into a single unit that could be rented out. 

Let's find out what it looked like before and what the results are.

Before: A destroyed facade

Right between two buildings and with a single exterior facade are terms which can describe the structure in this picture. Another, more important characteristic has to do with the state of the building. It was not yet at a point of demolition, but almost in a state of ruin, where the conditions not only made it uninhabitable, but also threatened the building’s stability.

Previous conditions

Moreover, the situation of the building, which is surrounded by other buildings, generated a complicated lighting challenge and inefficient ventilation of the indoor environment, forcing the house to suffer terrible quality conditions. As we know, a lack of ventilation and vulnerability to moisture can cause a whole host of problems such as mould, in addition to making a space look very unappealing.

The last of the old interior

It may come as no surprise, but the interior spaces were also not at their best. Reflecting the exterior, the structure of the hall had outlived its usefulness. The materials needed to be replaced by new ones, and spaces needed to be rethought and redesigned to better optimize the small size of each area and take more advantage of the unique façade with the windows.

These first three images show the building before the renovation. So let's find out how was the result …

After: A reform to perfection

We will start with the ground floor. Before going into details, let's be clear about the new distribution given to the floors of the building. The first apartment is a duplex covering the first floor and also the second. The second apartment, which was built here, corresponds to a studio type apartment and is located on the top floor of the building. The juncture between the two is made by  stairs which they have in common. It was a troubled phase of the project, but was successfully resolved to provide excellent access. 

Here you access the social area of the duplex designed to combine the living room and kitchen. The square window, which we can see in the picture, is the room’s only contact with the outside. However, we can see how the interior is much brighter than before. The stone wall embraces this environment giving it a touch of a rustic setting.

On the first floor

Now we will proceed to climb the metal stairway that we saw in the previous image. Its design not only allows you to go unnoticed and occupy the smallest possible volume, but through it, the light also passes without barriers. 

Upstairs is the bathroom, a closet and double bedroom. To make better use of the light that penetrates the stairs, it was used as a resource in a cut slab where the glass turns into a skylight to provide nourishing light all the way to the ground floor.

The studio

Now we go to the top floor of the building: the studio. Here the program was also organized in floors, thanks to the construction of a mezzanine which uses the elevation of the gabled roofs. The scheme is similar to the first apartment: lower floor social area with kitchen and bathroom; and in the upper area, the bedroom, which has a privileged view in double height. 

The chosen colour throughout the building was white which, more prominently, also covers the ceiling of the area. At precisely the highest point of this studio they had opened two points of natural lighting on the roof which allow the sky to leak into the inner landscape. Sensational!


We end our visit to this building in the Iberian Peninsula, where the abstract essence of the project can be summed up very well by light. Despite the design difficulties, the architects have shown a great emphasis on exploring all the possibilities to make the most of light in every possible corner.

Keen for more? Take a look at this: Renovation which created a new reality.

Let us know what you thought about this transformation in the comments section below. 
Modern houses by Casas inHAUS Modern

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