Lila House

In the last few years Portugal has been making headlines not only for its beautiful locations and world-class hospitality, but for its striking architecture as well. As many projects previously featured on Minimalissimo, the country’s best architects have proven, time and time again, that it’s possible to preserve old structures and aesthetics with a fresh perspective.

Located in the historical centre of Silves, in the Algarve region, stands the low-key Lila House. But don’t be fooled by the simplistic façade, as the inside program is as contemporary and minimalist as can be. Architect João Carriço skilfully managed to update a 60 year-old building maintaining its original structure and internal dynamics. This speaks volumes on the reach of minimalism as a guiding light for renovation projects aiming for timeless aesthetics.

White was elected as the main visual draw throughout the house, a reliable choice to instil amplitude and lightness for narrow spaces; the colour is ubiquitous, on the walls, furniture and even floor. Very few textures and materials manage to share the focus, as concrete look, wood and traditional handmade tiles appear from time to time as reminders of the past. Some unequivocal updates were necessary though, large windows and a fusion of closet and bathroom, thus offering extra room for the family.

The immaculate harmony of the old-fashioned structure with an austere flair shows the masterful knowledge imbued in Portuguese architecture practices from the previous generation. To make a successful leap into contemporary aesthetics, the project must rely on a strong aesthetic; no wonder minimalism stepped into the main role flawlessly.

Photography by Luís Henrique da Cruz.