Learning how to Storage: Domingo's Lopes Porto House
Learning how to Storage | Storage! It’s a basic human necessity, essential if you are a woman but if you are a men too. When it becomes a question of storing your life’s work and the better way to do it you call in the pros! Urban Studio designer was commissioned by an 84-year-old Portuguese painter, Domingos Lopes, to renovate his century-old Porto house to include a studio and an archive. SEE ALSO: HOTEL PROJECT BORN IN AUSTRALIA: Molonglo Group
We are talking about storing 2000 painting plus the drawings. That’s a challenge.
He responded with two vertical systems that take advantage of the high ceilings, particularly in the studio-archive on the lowest level. One wall down here anchors racks for paintings. Great idea!
But the main attraction is the freestanding 10-foot-wide OSB structure that begins as a grid of cubbies and rises, in different forms, through every level. Access to upper sections of both the racks and the cubbies is easy, no ladders required, thanks to the house’s central staircase, which runs alongside.
On the main level, the OSB form contains the kitchen’s upper and lower cabinets, including a sink and cooktop—in a sense, the kitchen is largely “stored” as well. Pearly gray plastic laminate fronts the cabinets. Opposite this compact setup stands an island wrapped in a glossy white quartz composite, and the nearby wall that houses the oven, microwave, and refrigerator is painted an equally bright white.
To bring a warmer touch to a palette dominated by cool colors, he laid a swath of typically Portuguese green-and-white tile on the kitchen floor, a major departure from the gray-tinted concrete elsewhere.
He calls the living spaces, which culiminate with a mezzanine above the kitchen, “a vertical loft” with almost no doors. There are, however, doors on the two full bathrooms he managed to shoehorn in. The one on the mezzanine is windowless and tiny, at 30 square feet, but impressively feels neither claustrophobic nor cramped. “It takes a lot of persistence to design for small spaces like these,” he says. Not to mention artistry, as Lopes can certainly appreciate.