Architect in ChargeAna Coelho Arquitectura
Design TeamAna Coelho, Marta Martins
Investor/ClientBaumhaus Serviced Apartments
ContractorBGM – Engenharia e Construção
Text description provided by the architects. The project started with a traditional bourgeois house built around 1850, in Oporto, Portugal. Although being used initially as a family house and after as a school, what implied certain transformations, the structure of the building was in perfect conditions as well as the traditional materials and techniques preserved – granite masonry, wood joinery, and traditional ornate decorative ceiling plasterwork.
Therefore, the raw-building presented most of its original XIXth century features, without major transformation from the original.
The challenge was to respect the building genesis installing nine comfortable apartments, combining the ancient building charm with a contemporary design, while keeping a restricted budget.
All the elements that were in good condition and fitted the new layout were carefully restored and integrated with the new architectural features. The new items, in their turn, were designed in full respect to the ancient ones, in order to get a mutual enhancement.
Old wooden floors were removed to allow insulation of the slabs, which provided magnificent raw wood to use in built-in furniture and architecture details.
A centenary Lebanon Cedar is the centrepiece of a lengthy garden, designed for joyful use, low maintenance, as well as to provide a pleasant landscape background to the apartments during day and night, with its carefully designed lighting.
Portuguese traditional materials were selected to warm up the minimal design: Portuguese white marble and colourful cement tiles match the kitchen and bathroom clean style.