The project is located in Marvila, one of the oldest industrial and working class areas in Lisbon, a district that, while not being fully integrated into the city, ended up belonging to it integrally. This neighborhood, formerly called Seaside Village (“Vila do Mar”), is undergoing a process of urban regeneration, awaited for decades.
The project aimed to transform an attic apartment without any living conditions into a bright and open space with a breathtaking view for the Tagus River, creating an idea of a “lighthouse”, a shelter at the top of the building, which opens for the distant views of the surrounding built environment, framed by the sky and the sea, disconnected from the disturbance of the city life.
Due to the dysfunctionality of the previous configuration of the apartment and the very poor condition of its structure, it became necessary to replace the entire roof and remake all of its interiors. The only elements that could be maintained were the floor structure and the gable walls. Through a deep intervention into the space of the apartment and the geometry of the stairs, it became possible to introduce a functional bathroom and a more comfortable and more private entrance, correcting the pre-existing defects – the bathroom space located in the narrow dormer window and the very low entrance gate.
The main objective of this project was to create a space as open and bright as possible. To achieve this goal, we decided to contain the private areas – bedroom and bathroom – in a separate volume, disconnected from the roof, leaving the remaining open space around it as the space of a living room. Both storage and kitchenette were contained in another volume created along the living room, an element integrated in the gable wall. This way we were able to free up as much space as possible, and introduce additional thermal insulation to the space. By subtracting from this volume, we created two niches: one that serves as the kitchenette countertop area and the other that serves as a sofa, a comfortable space to sit without overloading the space around it, from which one is able to admire all the beauty of the carefully studied geometry of the interior.
We illuminated the space by introducing 4 new skylights and two dormer windows, offering a lot of transparency to the space, reinforcing, at the same time, the relationship between the interior and the exterior. Where it was not possible to introduce direct light into the space, we proposed small glazed strips bringing the indirect light, both during the day and night, creating a special atmosphere inside those interiors. Additionally, large, criteriously placed mirrors multiply the perception of spaciousness and luminosity inside the apartment.
We contributed to the feeling of spaciousness of the apartment also by creating a very minimalist and bright ambient, with natural tones. On top of this very homogeneous base we decided to introduce decorative elements in metal and brick that are a tribute to the industrial spirit of Marvila that can be observed throughout the neighborhood.
A fundamental point of any of our projects is the careful and responsible choice of materials. In this project we use sustainable and eco-friendly materials such as: fiber cement panels, colored wood fiber panels, plywood, metal, brick tiles and wooden floor.
As a result of this intervention, we were able to create a functional, bright and open space, a space that lets you breathe and, despite its modern character, revives the spirit of the area in which it was created.