This building is part of a group of 19th century townhouses in Rua do Visconde de Bóbeda, with two old stone facades, one facing the street and an opposite facing the patio inside the block.
Studio Name: ANARCHLAB, Arquitetura Lda
Design Team: ANARCHLAB, Arquitetura Lda (Alice Ferreira da Silva, Pedro Silva e Pedro Barata)
Area: 234,24 sqm
Photography Credits: INÊS GUEDES
The renovation aimed to transform the building into four apartments, two on the ground floor and another two on the 1st floor. Since the beginning it was visible that the building still kept much of the original architecture characteristic elements like the stone facades, the traditional cement tiles, wood/plaster partition walls, wood window frames, doors, trims and wooden flooring and the wooden roof structure covered with tiles. Nonetheless the conservation of the roof and the natural lighting of the 1st floor were two main negative aspects and so they turned to be our main focus and the motor of the project.
After a careful analysis we decided that the best way to improve these aspects would be to extend the usable area up with two new mezzanine floors, opening towards the living room high ceiling, added to the apartments on the 1st floor, taking advantage of the heights, light and space, increasing the usable area and at the same time the salubrity of this floor. The access to the mezzanines is made by a very delicate metallic stair that connects to each living room, appearing almost as a sculpture that helps to organize the interior space.
In the backyard, a slight expansion is also proposed on the ground floor, extending the interior space, and increasing the relationship with the exterior and the garden, like a minimalistic winter garden, that dialogues, by contrast, with the existing old building.
Further to the rest of the details, this concept was also used, putting in close dialogue the century old elements with our new design approach as for instance the kitchen at the ground floor where we managed to salvage the original marble sink from the house suspending it into a very lightweight metallic structure, almost floating above the floor. Now, one (old) is not better without the other (new).
Anarchlab is a company based in Oporto and Lisbon. Founded in 2013 and led by the architects Pedro Ribeiro da Silva and Pedro Barata. Each Anarchlab project is driven by a storytelling that adds small inventions to the world with an “at play” attitude in a practice led by two best friends. Them continue to play with the toys that someone takes during the day, either a ball, a client, a project, a material or an excel sheet.
This type of relationship with reality and architecture leads to projects that are very interested in the specifics of each case, discovering enthusiastically the maximum potential of each new order.