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.
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.