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Architectural concepts inform Fala Atelier’s extensive collages

From Paper To Porto

Architectural concepts inform Fala Atelier’s extensive collages

Rendering versus reality: The concept for Uneven House in Porto, left, and the final project, right (Courtesy Fala Atelier, left/Ricardo Loureiro, right)

You probably think you have Fala Atelier figured out; whether you do or don’t doesn’t really matter to founders Ahmed Belkhodja, Filipe Magalhães, and Ana Luisa Soares. Since establishing the Porto, Portugal, design studio in 2013, the trio has cultivated a house style that could be described as methodical or precious. Methodical because the several dozen or so projects found on Fala’s website—the exact count is hard to pin down, owing to an insistence on a numerical filing system whose purpose seems to have once been inflationary—draw from the same well of signifiers: a millennial color palette, rounded mirrors, marble flooring (or a convincing substitute), marble veneer (or a convincing substitute), soothing geometries, lilting sections, one-point perspectives, rooms the size of hallways, hallways the size of rooms. And precious, well, for all the reasons just elaborated.

But there’s no getting around the fact that even before they cracked their 30s, Belkhodja, Magalhães, and Soares had already built extensively, if mostly within Porto. If this counts as precious, then younger architects might hold their noses and take a page from the Fala playbook.

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