BOX Arquitectos Designs A Masterful Modernist Micro-House

WORDS Gina Dionisio PHOTOS Ivo Tavares Studio


Portuguese-based architecture studio BOX arquitectos transformed this narrow plot in the centre of Ponta Delgada into a modernist micro-house.

Tucked neatly between the traditional terraced homes in the centre of Portugal’s Ponta Delgada, the crisp white façade of Moinho de Vento – the Windmill House – may look at one with its surroundings, but it’s what lies behind the front door that really sets this tiny home apart from its neighbours.

Built on a skinny 4.20sqm-wide infill, BOX arquitectos wanted to play with volume, depth and light to help create a sense of space within the confines of such a small plot. They divided Moinho de Vento into two sections with a central garden courtyard acting as the connecting element between them.

BOX Arquitectos Designs A Masterful Modernist Micro-House
The outdoor area in the centre helps blur the boundaries between interior and exterior, and joins the main section of the home to an independent single-story en-suite bedroom at the opposite end.

In the main home, the kitchen and living areas take up the entire ground floor and open directly onto the garden to give the space depth and natural light. “The only social space of the house gains dimension in its depth when it finds the garden at the end of the space,” says BOX arquitectos.

BOX Arquitectos Designs A Masterful Modernist Micro-House
The interiors have been decorated with a neutral colour palette to help bounce and create a sense of light.
BOX Arquitectos Designs A Masterful Modernist Micro-House
A floating staircase, illuminated by a skylight, leads to the bedrooms and bathrooms on the top floor.

While the ground floor of the main home uses depth to create a sense of space, the top floor uses volume. “The necessity to simulate a greater spatial amplitude is made possible by the skylights in the pitched roof, which receives the light and spreads it throughout the interior spaces, working as a ” diaphragm”, increasing the “vertical perspective”, explains BOX arquitectos.

BOX Arquitectos Designs A Masterful Modernist Micro-House
A terrace with a view of the garden courtyard is accessible via the east-facing bedroom.

The sloping ceiling and skylights illuminate the eastern bedroom and bathroom, while the west-facing second bedroom looks out onto the street through the building’s only front-facing window.

Looking for more architectural inspiration or micro spaces? Check out this Japanese-inspired micro apartment in London.