Casa e a Pedra is a Porto home emerging from a rocky context

Casa e a Pedra by architect François Leite is an urban residential reinvention in Porto, Portugal

living space looking out inside Casa e a pedra
(Image credit: Lucile Casanova)

Casa e a Pedra, designed by François Leite, is an imaginative, leafy reinvention of a Porto home. The project, created by the Paris- and Porto-based architect, addresses a private residence's need for change to adapt to 21st-century standards, taking into account its existing structure as well as the wider context in the Portuguese city's Lapa neighbourhood.  

styled detail fo Casa e a pedra in porto

(Image credit: Lucile Casanova)

Step inside Casa e a Pedra by François Leite

'Here, derelict buildings stand side by side with the granite outcrops of the old quarry, which was used in the 18th century to construct the district's emblematic buildings,' Leite writes. The house's site, which was in ruins at the start of the project, is not only home to an impressive natural rock mass that emerges from the earth covered in overgrown, native vegetation; it also contains a historic stone wall, which the architect unearthed while excavating the plot during the works.

detail of styled window perch at Casa e a pedra

(Image credit: Lucile Casanova)

Leite decided to embrace the site's history and textural qualities and wove its presence of natural stone into his design. It forms the heart of the concept, which unfolds across a main, open-plan living space that looks out to a planted courtyard, linked to the indoors through generous glazing.  

staircase inside Casa e a pedra

(Image credit: Lucile Casanova)

A raw and minimalist interior celebrates the granite rock surfaces. It is a cosy, warm and rather compact space that appears more generous than its square footage. Visitors step straight into the main living area from the street's main entrance. A bathroom arranged in parallel to this space makes the most of the green courtyard vistas. 

kitchen inside Casa e a pedra

(Image credit: Lucile Casanova)

'The home turns towards the patio,' the architect explains in his statement, highlighting the fact that this approach also helps control the climate indoors. 'This essentially mineral garden is gradually invaded by vegetation that affects the humidity and temperatures experienced [within].'

Casa e a pedra interior

(Image credit: Lucile Casanova)

Simple, exposed materials and textures, a clean colour palette and an emphasis on the relationship of the interior with nature make this Porto home a standout domestic space. 

tiles and stone textures in Casa e a pedra in porto

(Image credit: Lucile Casanova)

It is a working showcase of the architect's and the international creative industry's work too, as Leite said: 'Today, this house-gallery is a place to live, work and exhibit. A showcase for a dynamic and abundant programme of young Portuguese and French artists.'

interior of bathroom in Casa e a pedra

(Image credit: Lucile Casanova)

Ellie Stathaki is the Architecture & Environment Director at Wallpaper*. She trained as an architect at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and studied architectural history at the Bartlett in London. Now an established journalist, she has been a member of the Wallpaper* team since 2006, visiting buildings across the globe and interviewing leading architects such as Tadao Ando and Rem Koolhaas. Ellie has also taken part in judging panels, moderated events, curated shows and contributed in books, such as The Contemporary House (Thames & Hudson, 2018), Glenn Sestig Architecture Diary (2020) and House London (2022).