Before & after: House of a hundred angles

James Rippon James Rippon
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At a glance, this home near the Portuguese city of Porto may not look all that dated or out of place as a suitable holiday house for those wishing to visit the beautiful coastline Portugal has to offer. However, once you see the transformation it has undergone, you will understand why the home has been updated. A project of local architectural firm GAAPE, the house has been given a fresh facelift, with a number of subtle changes that don't really stand out at first, but upon closer inspection, reveal a large number of positive modifications.

Before: the front façade

This is how the house looked before work began. For many of us, this home looks quite typical of a home we might find in any seaside town across Europe. The home was in very good condition, and only needed cosmetic changes to become the modern home it is today. The potential for this home was great, with views of the adjacent estuary from the front, and the beach and beyond from the rear.

After: the front façade

Here we can see the finished product. Now, the home is a more sleek and modern version of its previous self, with a new colour scheme of white and browns, accentuated by the presence of glass, and new landscaping to finish. On the ground floor, full-height glass windows allow light to drown the lower floor. On the second floor, the original balcony was maintained, with additional, larger windows also inviting in daylight. The third floor has seen the biggest transformation, as a new balcony has been added, accessible from the master bedroom. With one half of the original pitch of the roof now removed, the new extension with glass balustrades has uninterrupted views from the estuary to the front, through to the beach behind.

Before: the entrance

This is the original entrance, dominated by heavy tones of dark timber. In order to be brought up to date, this presence of dark tones would have to be eliminated, and replaced by a more open and breezier entrance, better suited to its relaxed beach-side location.

After: welcome

As you can see, this has clearly been achieved. More modern steps lead the lucky occupants to their contemporary front door, which has been discretely camouflaged into the timber slats that greet those entering from the front.

Before: rear elevation

Viewed from the rear, the home looks a little more dated and tired than the front façade did, before work began. Given the fact that the home has access to enviable views of the coast, as well as laying claim to a large pool, it's odd that the previous design did not take full advantage of these two elements. Wishing to now enhance the water views, and form a better relationship with the outdoor areas, the rear of the home has been given a new lease on life.

After: rear elevation

With new minimal pool decking, and doing away with the previously raised perimeter of the house, the owners can now feel more connected with their outdoor setting, and move more freely between the indoor and outdoor spaces. Much the same as the front, larger windows have been installed to allow light to enter every corner of the house, and to take in the view. Even the pool itself was given a facelift; it now glows a summery tone of aqua blue.

Before: the bathroom

As with any before and after project, often it is the bathroom and the kitchen that are the true giveaway to a home's real age. As you can see from this image, the bathroom is spacious, yet certainly showing signs of its age. Although light and bright, the cabinetry, vanity, and fittings, all leave a lot to be desired.

After: the bathroom

Now we see a modern bathroom in much the same colour tones, but immediately different, thanks to its contemporary flair. The little details often make the biggest impact: a seamless mirror hovers atop an equally as seamless vanity, with modern chrome fittings installed throughout. Even a rain shower has been installed, for the ultimately luxurious rinse after a salty day on the beach.

Want to see another grand home by the water? Then take a look at this stunning family home in Dorset.

What do you think of the finished result? Let us know your thoughts on this project in the comments below.
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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