When design firms Aurora Arquitectos and Furo were asked to transform an old building in the Portuguese coastal resort town of Cascais into a hip hostel, they had their work cut out for them. Though the building was still standing, the interiors were completely rundown. Using a laminated steel frame to reinforce the structure, the architects steadily transformed the building from ruin to welcoming lodgings that play up the Portugal vacation theme with tropical prints and bright, sunny colors.

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Lounge area with gray and yellow couches and books on wall shelves

dining room with long light timber table and a tall blue shelving unit

Located near the coast just west of Lisbon, the Hostel in Parede is housed in a stately renovated building painted a beautiful sky blue. The interior was divided into nine modules, with the central module housing a skylit spiral staircase painted a vibrant shade of yellow to evoke the sun and the nearby sandy beaches. The sculptural staircase, which connects the three floors, features rounded corners that hide the utilities.

bunk beds on third floor

top of the bright yellow stairwell with skylights

“We were asked to consider the project as having a high level of flexibility in terms of future use,” Aurora Arquitectos and Furo said. “A hostel at first, capable of becoming a single-family house with little changes. This is how the autonomous volumes containing the bathrooms came to be, easily removable should one want larger bedrooms. The overall building’s structure also derived from the logic of easy future transformation.”

On the left, bright yellow staircase. On the right, green cube in the middle of bedroom. This green cube is a bathroom unit.

White room leading to the bright yellow staircase area

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Bedrooms are distributed across all three floors of the hostel. The semi-basement houses two of the dorm rooms, bathrooms and laundry room, and it opens up to the garage and courtyard. The ground floor comprises the main communal areas including the reception, kitchen, dining room, living room and a bedroom space with shared bathroom facilities. Four more dormitory rooms are located on the first floor, with the bathrooms housed in a freestanding unit placed in the center of each room.

+ Aurora Arquitectos

+ Furo

Via Dezeen

Images © do mal o menos

On the left, yellow bunk-beds in a row with white privacy curtains. On the right, line of bathrooms with yellow doors on a yellow wall