The Terrific Tricolour House

Luke Riley Luke Riley
The Three Cusps Chalet, Tiago do Vale Arquitectos Tiago do Vale Arquitectos Eclectic style study/office
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Today on homify we follow a careful but confident transformation of a traditional Portuguese property into a contemporary home by Tiago do Vale Arquitectos. The transformed property is an inviting sanctuary, boasting large living spaces and spacious bedrooms, which are accentuated by a restrained material palette and a confident white scheme.

The location of the property is perfect for those searching for history, culture and socialising. Situated in the heart of the medieval walls of Braga, by walking the cobble stone streets one will immerse themselves in the old town vibes and find generations of old bakeries, boutique shops and chef hat restaurants. 

Come and join us on a journey and discover it all for yourself!


Named by the architects as the Chalet of Three Corners, the unique building is a living document of the history of the region. The architectural style of home combines classic Portuguese architecture of the nineteenth century with an unexpected alpine influence. This influence arrived in Braga by the waves of Portuguese returning from South America. 

From the street, it all looks too perfect, however, the identity of the the building had been altered over its 120 year history due to certain misguided interventions. Its façade was tampered with many times, including the adding of modern aluminium frames and exterior roller blind boxes. Overall, the building's scale and details were removed from its original character and needed to be corrected. 

Recovering the old ways

Inside, the team from Tiago do Vale Arquitectos have recovered the original spatial and functional uses of the building. The stairs were preserved as best as possible and the structure of the roof was reworked over the existing wooden structure. 

In terms of plan, the ground floor is essentially the active, social heart of the house where the communal areas are found. Upstairs is reserved for bedrooms and places of peace and quiet. 

A sense of space

The kitchen has a modern outlook with contemporary details. We love most of all how the crisp white scheme provides the room with a light and fresh appearance, while also pairing well with the wooden floorboards.

Even though the kitchen has a certain narrow form, the dominance of white helps to open up the space and feel much larger to those inside. The high gloss finishes throughout also add to the perception of space.

Sleeping in the attic

Boasting height and width, the master bed is located up the stairs in the attic. Classic tones of white, beige and cream keeps the design simple but timeless. You can tell that this bedroom was designed to give the sense that this is a private retreat way away from the rest of the home.

Marble from the region

This is one of the bathrooms found inside of the property and, as you can see in the photo, marble reigns supreme! This marble is locally sourced and bears similarity to the original marble found inside the cellar of the building. Elsewhere the room is filled to the brim with best in modern features, which will help with the morning routines. 

Immersed in history

We feel completely immersed in history when we exit downstairs into the courtyard at the east side of the home. Rising tall is the neighbouring church that stands as Braga's landmark building. The courtyard is punctuated by several orange trees, providing a delicious leftover during the summer and an animated show in winter. 

Working with a view

Views are mostly into the courtyards and garden, making for an inspiring place to work inside the office. Without a context most would assume this was a full functioning working space inside a corporate office, however, few offices offer a prettier view than this one. Lunch breaks inside the courtyard will make for such a pleasurable time that it would be hard for anyone to return to work, no matter how fantastic the office. 

Overall, this project offers fruitful lessons as to how old homes can be reinvigorated to be modern without compromising on heritage.

For a similar project from Portugal, don't miss: The Historical River House is Lovingly Restored,

What did you love most about this renovation project? Would you have done something differently with the interior? Let us know!

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