Text description provided by the architects. This project involved the rehabilitation of a 3-bedroom apartment, located in a 40 year old building nearby the center of Lisbon. The original layout of this apartment comprised aspects such as a high level of compartmentation and small living spaces, hence creating a rather unpleasant environment filled with shady corners and rooms with little natural light.
The main purpose of this project consisted in promoting a complete makeover of the apartment´s internal disposition, trying hereby to increase its intrinsic value to the highest level possible. The critical factor that made this project a success was the recognition of the importance of the external patio´s role in the process of changing the internal layout of the apartment. The rehabilitation of this unused and 70 square-meter big outdoor area caused the shifting of the apartment´s social areas towards it. This change made it possible to live and utilize the patio to the fullest and to enjoy high levels of natural light in areas such as the kitchen and living room.
The relationship between the internal living areas of this residence is essentially defined by means of a non-structural, decorative element. It separates the kitchen from the living room but it also establishes a visual and physical connection between the social and the more private areas of the apartment. This element displays a different type of material, mainly due to its importance in terms of defining the internal layout. This element has also a more practical purpose, since it provides a relevant storage space for all areas in its surroundings.
The final result fits the procedure of wanting to increase the intrinsic value of a house by rehabilitating its external living spaces. This type of approach gives relevance to aspects such as natural light, the creation of neutral spaces and of strong ties between the interior and exterior areas of a home.