The historic character of the buildings in Rodrigo da Fonseca Street are remarkable, thus they are characterised by the Cross of St Andre type of structure, a system that was sought to enable the buildings to survive earthquakes. Nevertheless, and despite its urban context and historic facade and height of the ceilings, the building had been stripped of its historic caché and decorative details and embroidery. The apartment had suffered a refurbishment in the late 90s where all of the original walls were covered in plasterboards in an attempt to cheapen the costs of the renovation and straighten the slanted ancient walls.
It was fundamental to us to bring some sort of character given its lost identity, which we could nor bring back or fake. The client was also quite determined to have a contemporary feel in his home, with an organic integration of the social areas. The kitchen was then placed in the heart of the plan, and in order to integrate and make this heart beat, the project proposed a functional closet corridor divided from the kitchen by an exposed structural and historic element of the flat, the St Andre cross. This wall of closets dissimulates the entrance to the private suites of the apartment.
In the living area the client also wanted not only a place where he could watch television, but also a space that would revolve around the television. Hence the creation of a central element of the room comes to hide the television and creates a series of closet areas that are dissimulated as a decorative element.
The project now has the social area of the flat entirely facing the street facade and dialogs with the beautiful Jacaranda trees, typical of the Lisbon city centre.
Photography: Ricardo Oliveira Alves