Formally, the building participates in a matrix that is common to downtown Porto in the 19th century, regulated and identifiable, either by typology or by the materials used.
The space that occupies the ground floor has undergone successive changes in its typology and uses: from an office to a dining room, a winter garden and kitchen that appear
in the first decade of the 20th century, a patio transformed into a wood warehouse, a place closed to the public eye and that remained so until 2020.
Studio Name: STILL urban design
Design Team: Sofia Pera (principal architect), Hanna Szalai-Szabó (intern architect) and Francesca Tridello (intern architect)
Location: Porto ( Portugal)
Consultants: Francisco Neto e Bruno Sousa (engineers); Multi-time Serviços (builders)
Photography Credits: Alexander Bogorodskiy – Architectural Photography
Layers of paint suggest that the earth tones gave way to blues, where the more or less damaged wood survived the lack of light and over the years in oblivion. With this project, the place was transformed and adapted to the necessary definition of spaces, seeking in a single gesture to establish programmatic logics, in an exercise of flexibility and spatial permeability, combining past and present.
Thus, a multifunctional space emerges, composed of moments that succeed each other along the 33 meters that enter the building. The central space of the bookstore (Livraria Térmita) is the meeting point and distribution of the others: the wine cellar that appears on the façade (Garrafeira Mompilher ), the kitchen that peeks through the wooden shutters and, finally, the gallery/cultural space ( Armazém Fundo) that extends to the end of the lot, illuminated by skylights attentive to the passage of time.
Here, books, wine, coffee, art and memories are mixed and it is in this “spirit of the times” and where the transformation takes place: wood and iron, mosaic, concrete and polycarbonate. The 6-meter-long floor of original continuous wooden boards is recovered, as well as the wainscoting that delimit the entire perimeter of the bookstore up to the height of the belt; the ocher tones are back in place, this time inspired by the tones of the original hydraulic mosaic that makes the transition between the bookstore and the kitchen.
Here, the furniture merges with the tones of the walls: a kitchen to be lived and seen, inviting socialization. The rest of the furniture and lighting combine contemporary, industrial and decorative languages, from the 1930s to the present day. The new iron shelves (ribbed rod) are the element that snakes through all these places, distributing the bottles, books and plants that cohabit here.