I N S I D E  C O S T A  N O V A

Costa Nova in Ilhavo, Portugal, is a tiny village located in the north center of Portugal, between the ria (in Portuguese means river with salted water) and the Atlantic Ocean. Tiago, during his childhood, used to go with his parents to the beach in front of that village. He proposed that village for a project, and Tania accepted the challenge.

The peculiar striped houses turn this city unique. The stripes are an atypical and distinctive element and become the object of our architectural project.


The city arose in the 13th century. The first fishermen began to build precarious houses with straw and canes, exploiting the structures as a seasonal refuge for their work tools. In the beginning, were single-floor buildings, elevated on wooden rods, arranged horizontally with the name of Palheiros. Over time these buildings became real homes for fishermen families. To protect the houses from exposure to maritime activities, people start decorating them with the same oils and paints used for ships.


If you want to see how they were in the beginning, click this link: 


During the 19th century, with socio-economic development, Costa Nova became a popular seaside resort. The village suffered an evident alteration of its structure. In the same period, the fishermen started renting their Palheiros during the summer season. To make them even more eye-catching for tourists, they began to paint the facades with bright colors, inspired by the Moliceiros, the typical fishermen's boats used on the Ria. Since then, the Costa Nova houses, are recognized as a rare and authentic symbol of territorial identity, today characterized by the chromatic presence and striped on their facades.

Between 1990 and 2000, many foreigners decided to buy a house in Costa Nova, building them without keeping the decorative stripes, and this led to a standardization of the cityscape. Despite this, Costa Nova continues to attract tourists from all over the world.


The project focuses on striped painted houses, which are the most iconic part of the village. The photographs display the homes in their entirety, some details, and perspective games. The bright colors underline the light-heartedness and freshness of Costa Nova, recalling the summer atmosphere typical of a seaside resort. 

Despite the great tourist flow, the original inhabitants of Costa Nova can still be found, especially in the inner part of the city, immersed in reality far away from that which surrounds them.



This time we were located in Viseu, 1h away from Costa Nova. This time we have had no opportunity to try many places or experiences.

The restaurant that filled up our needs with classy food: Dori


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