The ultimate achievement in minimalist interiors is to do away with all clutter, hiding personal effects and even furniture so that the focus is on the architecture and design of the space itself. Portugal-based studio OODA transformed two 19th-century buildings in the city of Porto with freestanding, monolithic black boxes containing the bedrooms as well as the baths, kitchen and other functions.
“The building develops along six floors, with the ground floor intended for a single commercial space,” the architects say. “The west facade is preserved almost in its entirety. The exterior walls are cladded in textured white ceramic tiles, used in traditional facades elsewhere in the city, thereby maintaining local features. Each floor is divided into four independent units equipped with a prefabricated module that meets functional living needs.”
“Traditional ceramic paintings on church panels will be turned into digitized image and applied as a perforated surface. Additional measures include paints, waxes and varnishes with vegetable bases, natural resins and mineral pigments.”
Upon entering these interiors, your gaze is immediately drawn to the drama of these perforated black shapes, stark in contrast to matte white walls and wooden floors. This prefabricated solution looks high-end but is actually quite affordable, adaptable to different kinds of interiors, and transferable to new spaces.
The modules consist of a light steel frame with cement fiber board panels and fiberglass panels on the inside, and a perforated envelope made of Valcromat, a richly colored wood fiber panel. OODA outfitted all 16 studio apartments of the LOIOS building in Porto with these custom-made boxes, which can be fabricated to incorporate all sorts of different elements, used individually or stacked.
The standard units feature a bed that slides out from the base and a desk on a raised platform, with a kitchenette and bathroom hidden on the other sides. The perforations on the exterior, inspired by the painted tiles found throughout the city, give the modules a lantern-like feel at night.