The story behind this project was to make it into a pied-à-terre in Lisbon for a joyful couple who loves to cook and host dinner parties. Programmatically speaking, it was bound to have two very distinct partitions, the private and the social, where a wooden curtain-wall separates and hides the accesses to the suites and the guest restroom.
This apartment, despite the initial plan having a series of enclosed rooms, which seemed incompatible to the openness and vastness of the unique views over the city, the Tagus River and the 25th of April Bridge. These beautiful views felt in some way trapped in these small spaces, and they needed to breathe, to be felt and revealed.
The desired fluidity of the space and framing the views inspired us to play with the concept of gravity through design. Hence, the idea of an open space, joining the dining and the kitchen into a single experience, a 5.5m long island, which morphs into a ship-bow-like cantilever dining table overlooking the Tagus River.
In the newly opened-plan living area we created a piece that would serve as a marked viewpoint along the central axis of the living room window, a place for contemplation of the framed 25th of April Bridge. Once more we played with fluidity and gravity, but this time in the form of a floating bench, which from the piece for contemplation of the bridge view becomes in itself the piece of contemplation.
We wanted to push the limits of this piece, and this was done through its materiality to achieve the lightness and fluidity intended. And this is where the mind games begin, the trompe l’oeil. After all how can a marble bench be in a 3-meter cantilever?
Photography: Fernando Guerra