8.11.12

THE WHITE BOX HOUSE


It is a real pleasure for us to share a little interview with you we did with Fati, Alexnadre and Adelino -  the owner of The White Box House.

The White Box House is a wonderful guesthouse in the heart of Porto. We have been there on our summer trip this year. We are still swarming about the house with its warm atmosphere, the well selected furniture, the design objects, the high rooms and the simplicity and beauty of the whole composition. And not to forget the breakfast. Served very personal in the lovely kitchen of the house with home made jam and a delicious apple pie made by Fati (she is so sweet)

A stay in The White Box House is a very personal and pure experience, you can feel the passion and the love of three young people who are living for their true dream.






















Photos via THE WHITE BOX HOUSE


FATI, ALEXANDRE AND ADELINO SINCE WHEN AND FROM WHERE DO YOU KNOW EACH OTHER? 
Oh!.. We met each other so many years ago. We forgot when! Before The White Box House we did a lot of small "projects" together: travels, travels, travels... This allowed to learn a lot of things and to know each other deeply, crucial to this big "travel".


WHICH WAS/IS YOUR MAIN PROFESSION RESPECTIVELY BESIDE WORKING IN THE WHITE BOX HOUSE?
The White Box House team is a mix of law, computer science and chemistry. Something difficult to explain, but maybe something very closed to a big EXPLOSION! On the other hand, we have the same pleasure in independent travels and the same interests in architecture, minimalist design, vintage furniture and upcycling pieces, photography, music and so on.


HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE IDEA TO DO SOMETHING WONDERFUL LIKE YOUR HOSTEL?
When low cost companies started to flight to Porto Airport, we intensified our travels and our stay in hostels and guesthouses and at same time Porto became a more visited city. So we decided to open a guesthouse to receive people as if it was our home. As Porto has so nice old houses most of them abandoned, it was, without doubt, our start point: to find an old charming house with garden and well placed. In order to renovated it, preserving the original characteristics and adapting to the contemporary comfort needs, having as final purpose to provide to the guests the ideal atmosphere for a perfect stay and where they can live some of the local culture without losing the feeling of being at home.

After hard search, work and burocracy we got a building from the beginning of the 20th century, with wooden floors, granite, portuguese tiles, a garden in the most busy pedestrian street of Porto. Meanwhile, the building was carefully restored by the architects of the Atelier da Bouça (Filipa Guerreiro e Tiago Correia Arquitectos).


IS THERE ANY HISTORY ABOUT THE OLD HOUSE?
The White Box House is a typical Oporto house belonged to a rich family owner of several houses in the area and when the parents died, the two daughters divided the original building in two. Now is possible to see the symetric buildings, one renewed and the other a bit degradated. When we bought our part, it was a vandalized and already closed cyber cafe. Before that, it was a cultural association, and before a school. The two lower levels, during many years, were rented to a Portuguese lady, always dressed with an Indian sari that runned there a shop with some esoteric pieces and to his husband that used to fix electric equipment. It's impossible to describe what we found there...many years of stuff.


WHAT WAS THE WORST MOMENT DURING THE RESTORATION OF THE HOUSE?
Difficult to answer... We 've erased all the long process of our brains!


WOULD YOU DO IT AGAIN?
YES! Maybe because we've erased all the process before opening!


TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT THE NAME: THE WHITE BOX HOUSE.
At a moment we had a big list of names. When it was the legal deadline to give a name we remembered the ceramic white boxes left in the basement, used by the eletrician.


HOW DID IT COME TO THE COLLABORATION WITH  THE ARCHITECTS FILIPA GUERREIRO AND TIAGO CORREIA OF ATELIER DA BOUÇA?
We made a selection of architects, having in mind three conditions: we must be identified with its previous work, they must be opened enough to accept some extra ideas and they must not be our friends. We decided for Filipa Guerreiro and Tiago Correia of Atelier da Bouça. And now we are friends.


WAS IT POSSIBLE TO BRING YOUR OWN IDEAS (E.G. MATERIALS) OR DID YOU JUST TRUST THE ARCHITECTS?
Of course with told all the requirements to bring our idea up and we follow all the process, adjusting some things when needed. But in general we trusted, of course.


THERE ARE WONDERFUL AND VERY WELL SELECTED FURNITURE, LAMPS AND OTHER FINE THINGS IN YOUR HOSTEL (EVERYTHING THERE IS ON THE RIGHT PLACE, NOT TOO MUCH AND NOT TOO LITTLE) - ARE THIS PROPOSALS OF FILIPA AND TIAGO OR YOUR OWN IDEAS? 
Great - that you like, because the interior design was decided by us. It was a difficult, but challenging, process. We are lovers, but amateurs in this area, so we did everything with much care and passion, as if it was for our place. Finally, it seems that we please some people, which is rewarding. We had already a proposal of a guest to buy most of the furniture in the living room.



YOUR ABSOLUTELY BREATHTAKING ROOM IN THE ENTRANCE FLOOR - THE ROOM IS EMPTY AND WE FELL IN LOVE WITH THIS - WHAT WILL HAPPEN THERE IN FUTURE, DO YOU HAVE ANY PLANS? 
Another "travel"... We are studying a new project to complement the guesthouse and dynamise the extra space. The idea is a coffee/shop/restaurant/boutique/gallery, a multi purpose space directed not only to the guests, but also to the public in general. Let see what will happen...



JUST A LAST QUESTION - WHAT IS FOR EACH OF YOU THE FAVORITE ROOM IN YOUR HOUSE?
Room 6 is The White Box House face, but all of us prefer room 5, because of its romantic balcony and sobriety.



During our stay The White Box House has been awarded by Respect for Architecturecongratulations and again and again: dear Fati, Alexandre and Aelino thank you for the unforgettable time in your house and the little interview with us. We are looking forward to see you in Porto again very soon. 


Kommentare:

  1. Sehr sehr schön, vielen Dank für das Interview, am liebsten würde ich gleich die Koffer packen und eine Auszeit nehmen. Schöne Grüße!

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  2. Oh, ein wirklich tolles guesthaus, dass ihr hier zeigt, da würd ich auch direkt meinen Urlaub verbringen... oder vielleicht auch ein wenig länger bleiben. ;)

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  3. Thank u for your comment over at my place;) Love your blog! Will be back soon!!
    /Hanna

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  4. Das eindeutig schönste Guesthouse, das ich je gesehen habe. Schade dass es das noch nicht gab, als ich das letzte Mal in Porto war.
    Vielen Dank für das schöne Interview und die Bilder. Es ist gemerkt für das nächste Mal.

    Herzlich, Katja

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  5. so lange darauf gewartet - und dann ist es so ein durchdacht schöner beitrag geworden. ich wünsche mir eigene flügel, damit ich es sehen kann ... kompliment an fati, alexandre und adelino :) und immer auch an mati für diesen schönen platz hier.

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    1. du siehst..wir versuchen dir mit allen mitteln das fliegen schmackhaft zu machen.. ;)

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  6. warum kann man nicht überall so nächtigen? wie schön wäre die welt....tausend dank, ich hoffe ich werde dort auch mal einen urlaub verbringen können. liebe grüße

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    1. der dank geht an die drei gastgeber,,

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  7. Ein tolles "Fundstück" - Porto steht schon seit Jahren auf meiner Liste der Städte, die es noch zu bereisen gilt. Jetzt weiß ich auch schon, wo ich dann wohnen werde! Und nebenbei auch noch diesen schönen Blog entdeckt...
    Lena@minamoka

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Merci.