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Simple House Building / December 17, 2018

Is it possible to build a house for €80, 000 (that’s approximately $87, 000)? That was the million-dollar question a Portuguese family had for local architect José Carlos Nunes de Oliveira of NoArq. The answer turned out to be not quite, so the family upped their budget to €100, 000 (or about $109, 000).

What resulted is the Mami House, a “mini bunker” of a home measuring 160 square meters, or a generous 1, 722 square feet. Cast in concrete, the dwelling takes the shape of a simple cube with oversized windows and rises in the coastal town of Matosinhos, just north of Porto.

The two-story dwelling features an open floorplan with as few partitions as possible and incorporates only the most basic of finishes. These include bare concrete walls and plain wood. A wooden staircase unit with built-in storage and a bathroom unit separates the kitchen from living area on the first floor, where the floors are also unfinished concrete.

Upstairs are three bedrooms, whose floors are made of wood to create a cozier space. Floor-to-ceiling windows offer ample sunlight and also introduce a design-forward element in an otherwise spartan space. There’s even a basement. And while the architects strove to keep the cost of materials low, they invested in making the home energy-efficient instead.