Laundry time. Loathed by some, pleasantly embraced by others. While opinions may differ in that regard, it’s likely you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who actually enjoys passing the hours by in their local laundromat. Unless that is, you’re in Vila Meã – a little under an hour’s drive from Porto, the Portuguese town is home to a shop that challenges the customary look and feel of laundry spaces. Designed by local studio Stu.dere and Civiurban, Lavandaria Morinha is 200 sq-m, divided into a self-service area for washing and drying, a workshop for the treatment of garments and a lounge.

‘The purpose was to create a modern and innovative environment,’ says a spokesperson for Stu.dere, ‘reflecting the evolution of a society that seeks practical solutions for the management of its day to day, while still bringing the memory of traditional community washers back.’ Green ceramic tiles from Aleluia Cerâmicas adorn the interiors, chosen to evoke the image of these traditional spaces – places that remind the designers of ‘the social aspect that came with collecting water’.

Plants suspended from the ceiling and lighting by Flos and Tromilux complement the aesthetic of the main wash-and-dry area. To prepare their loads, then fold and sort once complete, customers can use a marble worktable that stands in this space. If they notice that a top or trousers need fixing while doing so, they can make their way through a metallic checkered gate – the entry point to the bright, white-walled garment treatment workshop. Microcement flooring runs through the whole of Lavandaria Morinha, selected for its waterproof properties and ability to sustain high traffic.

A pleasant, clean spot to read a book or scroll through the news while bedsheets tumble dry, the lounge is fitted with minimalistic blonde-wood furniture, a television and vending machine for those who become peckish during wash cycles.