the white box house is an amazing new guesthouse in porto. we stayed there for a few short days and fell in love with the place and the team.
we were welcome with open arms and we received everything we needed and then some: think reservations, bookings and recommendations. a cool concierge service on top of a nice room and wonderful company!
the place has a very chilled atmosphere – there are only 6 rooms (we had one of the two right beneath the roof, the only ones with en-suite bathroom) so the small number of people present make for great company and cosmopolitan atmosphere especially in the morning over freshly squeezed orange juice and the occasional home-made pie.
white box house was elected on the twenty-strong list of respect for architecture porto 2012, along with almada guesthouse, apartreboleira, arquivo, atelier asvs, bnapartments rio, cafe vitoria, casa da baixa, casa do contro arts & residence, casa d’ouro restaurante, 3C clerigus cafe clube, grande hotel do porto, ichiban restaurante japones, loja cutipol porto, loja luis buchinho, miss’ opo, pensao favorita, restaurante gosho, rosa et al townhouse and the four rooms, al.
i would tell you more but isn’t it better if you heard it from the people running this wonderful independent undertaking?
please tell me the story behind the white box house
the idea of this project was born and matured during the travels we did together. we have always been keen on travelling and when low cost companies started to fly to the porto airport we became obsessed… so, in the past years, we stayed in lots of hostels, guesthouses and so on! suddenly, porto became a happening city and we decided to open a guesthouse to receive people as if it was our home. so, we gathered all the characteristics we would like to find in a place to stay when we are travelling. the main idea was to provide the ideal atmosphere for a perfect stay, where the guests can get a taste of the local culture without losing the feeling of being at home.
we looked for one of the many abandoned but charming houses in porto with a garden and with good location, in order to renovate it, preserving the original characteristics and adapting it to the contemporary comfort needs. after a lot of searching, of work and of bureaucracy, we got a building from early 20th century, with wooden floors, granite, azulejos – portuguese tiles, a savage garden on the busiest pedestrian street of porto. ever since, the building has been carefully restored by the architects of the atelier da bouça – filipa guerreiro e tiago correia arquitectos.
finally, it’s ready and running… and our days became so intense and full of stories, that our “obsession” is already changing into something else.
could you please tell me about the team?
we are 3 friends behind the white box house project, all with different backgrounds, but with the same pleasure in independent travels and the same interests in architecture, minimalist design, vintage furniture and upcycling pieces, photography, music and so on.
until now, everything was decided by the three of us together, we are a very democratic team!
who was in charge of the minimalist design? i noticed some very interesting solutions and also a fair number of upcycled pieces.
interior design, upcycled pieces: we took all the decisions together. most of the pieces are from vintage shops and they were renovated by us. we are lovers but amateurs in this area, so we did everything with much care and passion, as if it was for our place.
you could notice some special pieces that we upcycled, the ceramic white boxes used by the electrician that worked in the basement before the acquisition of the house… they are the origin of the name of our project.
what are your future plans now that you have some extra space on the ground floor and in the basement?
we are studying a new project to complement the guesthouse and render the extra space more dynamic. we are considering having a coffee shop/restaurant/boutique/
gallery, a multi purpose space directed not only towards the guests but also towards the general public. we’ll see what happens.
what are your favourite places in porto?
casa da música
café candelabro – for a glass of wine before dinner
serra do pilar / jardim do morro – for the views
salto o muro – fresh fish in a typical local restaurant
casa d’ouro – a pizza over the douro river
rua da vitória – wonderful views
rua miguel bombarda – for a saturday afternoon
feira de vandoma – very early on a saturday morning
são joão do porto party – the night of the 23rd of june
thank you very much for everything, guys! and keep up the good work!
photo credits: the white box house, lilaesthete