Lead ArchitectsPaulo Freitas, Maria João Marques
Text description provided by the architects. In the Historic Center of Porto, an opportunity appears to develop a contemporary dwelling capable of being urbanistically integrated into the morphology of the city. Owned by the same owners as the next-door building, the project was thought out in a way that could create new spaces for extending their own dwelling, as well as adding two new studios. The challenge was to create a building that would adapt to the accentuated gap of the vacant lot located in Rua da Vitória, one of the oldest streets in the city, and to take advantage of the privileged view of the urban landscape of this World Heritage Site.
The building follows the alignment of the neighboring constructions and the street, and adapts to the morphology of the land taking advantage of the difference of levels to build two floors below the street level. In total there are four floors, two floors above the street, aligned by the edges of the roof of the neighboring buildings, maintaining the existing urban profile.
Access to the interior of the dwelling is done directly from the street, where the first studio is located. The upper floor, accessible through the adjacent building, consists of a suite and a balcony. The second studio is located on the lower floor with the same distribution as the first one. Technical areas are located in the backyard, which communicates with both buildings.
The building is completely open to the city to the Southeast, with wide openings, and a balcony on the top floor, so that you can enjoy the landscape over the city. This more torn front contrasts with the Northwest front towards the street, which is more closed due to the proximity that the building has with neighboring buildings.
Because it is a new structure, the materials and construction techniques used were in accordance with current practices. The new construction holds a volumetry that is totally shaped to the existing reality, and at the same time adopts a contemporary image, that offers its users a unique visual and architectonic experience.