- Client:Câmara Municipal de Coimbra/ Coimbra City Hall
- Collaboration:Jorge Teixeira Dias, Alexander Glaser, Joana Brandão, Joana Figueiredo, João Branco, João Sérgio Braga da Cruz, Patrícia Domingues, Susana Neves, Catarina Fortuna
- Structural Engineer:Paulo Maranha Tiago, Maria Fernanda Sobral
- Electrical Engineer:Pascoal Faísca, Fernando Canha, João Madeira da Silva
- Security Measures And Fire Consulting:Paulo Sampaio (ECA Projectos) Thermal consulting: Paulo Sampaio
- Acoustic Consulting:João Gomes da Silva
- Lightning Designer (External Spaces):Gilberto Reis
- Contractor:JFS - João Fernandes da Silva, S.A.
- Security:Paulo Sampaio
- Fire Consulting:Paulo Sampaio
Text description provided by the architects. The project for the Refurbishment of Casa da Escrita consists of the remodelling of the Casa do Arco, the former residence of poet João Cochofel, to house spaces and events related to writing – an open archive, writing workshops and temporary residences for writers supporting a broad set of activities and interactions between literary writing and other artistic creations.
The building is located in the old upper area of Coimbra in a dense urban set of predominantly residential narrow winding streets. The site area is about 1500 m2 and includes the building, the garden, a greenhouse and some outbuildings. The building area is equivalent to 1115m2 (gross area).
The program aims for the contemporary reuse of the building, adapting it to new functions, while reconciling patrimonial and symbolic values with the present demands for comfort and flexibility. Without losing reference to the original space and the house's atmosphere of comfort and intimacy, every room was restored or preserved by using traditional materials, such as wood, plaster, stucco, stone and tiles. All furniture has also been carefully selected.
The refurbishment‘s main purpose was to convert these rooms into adaptable spaces, with a wide range of uses and interpretations. At the ground floor, the building is divided by a street. On the South wing, new metallic staircases and a self-contained wooden structure (housing toilets and lockers) have been added. The North wing houses the main entrance, the bookshop and the reception. The new wooden staircase connects the main entrance with the second floor, where the library, dining, reading and exhibition rooms are located. From there one can access the garden or the South wing, where one can find a small flat for resident artists. Upstairs the loft has been converted into a single room now featuring the archives and three reading cells.