This historic three-story townhouse in Lisbon has been cleverly transformed by the local practice SIA arquitectura into two interlocking but different residences that share a sunny courtyard. The project was named after Rua de São Marçal, the street in which it is located. It comprised the housing of two modern houses with minimal interference with the centuries-old structure and taking into account the architectural heritage of the building.
In response to this challenging assignment, the architects opted for a clever configuration of picturesque yet functional rooms, adopting a minimalist design language that seamlessly combines the historic architectural features with the modern furniture inside. Taking advantage of the corner location of the building, the entrances to the two houses are in different streets. “Casa Térrea” or the earth house occupies the ground floor and part of the first floor of the building, while “Casa Alta” or the high house takes up most of the first floor and the attic on the second floor.
With a pure white color palette and a complete lack of decorative features, the ground house’s strong minimalism is offset by volumetric geometries that highlight the building’s history and also introduce modern counterparts. While the pure white color palette continues in the High House, the minimalist aesthetic is softened here with dark parquet floors and classic pieces of furniture.