- KEMA studio
Text description provided by the architects. Project is located in Anjos, Lisbon, Portugal, a zone where the industry mixes with housing buildings in a very dense urban tissue.
The pre-existing space had a function of carpentry, with a limited access to light and a small, lacking identity exterior space.
We decided to maintain as much as possible in the interior, except for the part of a back facade to let more natural daylight in and enforce the relation between interior-exterior.
The intervention´s objective was to appreciate “the existing” and add to it. The “wet functions” were contained within rigid massive pre-existing brick walls, leaving all the “dry functions” in the remaining space. Further separation of functions was made by introducing 2 simple volumes defining the required functions. A black box, made from engineered coloured wood, created a technical zone together with a storage; a cork box, made from warm and acoustic cork panels, which created a private zone of double bedroom with direct connection to the exterior – both boxes made from sustainable, ecological materials produced in Portugal.
Materials were a fundamental aspect of this project. We kept heavy brick arches, steel structure and concrete pillars supporting it and by introducing new elements to it. In this way we were able to emphasize the pre-existing industrial character. We played with contrasts of colors, temperature and sound. We intended to make it homey but still maintain the “industrial” identity, so we paired black, cold, noisy steel with bright-toned, warm and quiet cork.
Throughout the process it was important for us not to lose the identity of the space. Since the local was a well known carpenter´s workshop, we decided to reuse all the wood left in the workshop and bring it back to life in a contemporary way, as a kitchen island top, bedside tables and exterior “pixel” wall – a composition made from over 14 different types of wood from all around the world.
All of this resulted in a well defined space, with a memory of what it used to be. A comfortable space, penetrated by morning light from the entrance zone and flooded by the afternoon sunlight coming in from the backyard.