Dezeen Magazine

Small house with a monumental shower by Fala

Fala Atelier adds colourful shower tower to small granite house

A skinny chimney-style tower houses the bathroom and shower of a residential renovation in Amarante, Portugal, designed by architecture studio Fala Atelier.

The small, single bedroom house has been built in an old granite shack at the end of a garden patio.

Small house with a monumental shower by Fala

Called Small House with a Monumental Shower, the new tower that gives the project its name abuts one corner.

"The tall tower is standing in paradoxical independence, refusing to be serious, making a courageous formal statement,"said Fala Atelier.

"[It is] a monumental object for a non-monumental program."

Small house with a monumental shower by Fala

The large granite walls of the original building have been maintained, topped by a new thin metal roof.

New window frames and. the underside of the roof are finished in a contrasting teal colour.

Small house with a monumental shower by Fala

Inside, the two floors of the home create two distinct spaces – a kitchen, living and dining area on the ground floor and with a bedroom above.

A spiral steel staircase with thin marble treads connects the two storeys.

Small house with a monumental shower by Fala

"The living area occupies the ground floor, relating to the surrounding gardens; the bedroom fits under the sloped roof, facing the views," said the studio.

At ground floor level, the tower houses a small toilet, and the shower and a second toilet are located on the first floor.

Small house with a monumental shower by Fala

A new section of curved wall has been introduced to conceal plumbing and storage areas, also finished in teal.

In the bedroom, the pitch of the roof is highlighted by a wooden beam that runs along its apex.

A circular skylight at the top of the tower dramatically illuminates the shower, which is lined at its base by pale green tiles.

"The inside spaces are defined with a simple palette of materials – white walls, striped wooden floors, fractions of white marble and mint-green carpentries," said Fala Atelier.

A colourful, geometric design characteristic of the practice has been used on the exterior of the tower, echoing the colours of a pylon behind the home.

Small house with a monumental shower by Fala

"From the outside, the ambiguous pattern of white and pink triangles makes and obvious contrast between the two actors," added the studio.

Porto-based Fala Atelier often introduces playful geometries and colour into its designs, working them into existing structures.

Recent projects include the redesign of an apartment in Porto with a mint floor, and the renovation of a 19th century house in Porto that added a series of graphic, colourful facades.

Photography is by Ricardo Loureiro.

Project credits:

Architect: Fala Atelier
Project team: Filipe Magalhães, Ana Luisa Soares, Ahmed Belkhodja, Costanza Favero, Ana Lima, Joana Sendas, Paulo Sousa
Client: Private
Contractor: Ruce Lda