OODA, the architecture design studio that created the 227 Flat, was founded by Diogo Brito and Rodrigo Vilas-Boas in their hometown, Porto, Portugal. In a recent project, the team renovated DM2 Housing, a seventeen-studio unit for students and young people. The 20th century building retains the original facade but is completely reconstructed inside and behind the building. Today, the space works within a minimal palette of neutral colors, mainly black and white, relying on shape and texture for visual interest. Though housing projects directed at young renters or buyers are usually rather homogeneous, this one features several unique geometric and industrial flourishes, so that nearly every corner has a bit of its own character. There are twisting staircases with and without railing, split levels, and kitchens alternately built into walls and corner pillars, for instance. The institutional imagery you might expect—mailboxes, numbered floors, and lettered doors—is broken up by ultra-contemporary yet homey touches such as miniature flights of stairs and camouflaged doors. Inside each apartment, there is a monochrome black kitchen and wooden floors and, sometimes, there are additional features such as lofts and balconies. Outside, through the various winding corridors, geometric landscaping trails behind the building, giving the extended space a breath of nature that is still precisely controlled and urban.

Photography by João Morgado