House No. 6

This is our first intervention on a Português Suave building – the distinctive architectural style of the dictatorship. In this case, a house built in the 1940s that should be updated to accommodate a family of our time. The house was practically intact and, if it is true that its language reveals a political ideology and a set of aspirations that are now consensually condemned, it is nonetheless very well built, fruit of an effective design and a skilful use of available resources.

A time and emotional distance to the context in which the house emerged allowed us to look at it without a sense of retaliation or glorification, but rather as ready-to-use material, to the individual measure of desire and need. The spatial composition of the house and its language – a fabricated ethnography – are accepted as such. The new walls, windows, doors and fittings are recognizably new but do not establish a dialectical relationship with the original elements: rather a peaceful and silent coexistence.

On the ground floor, a succession of small mono-functional spaces around the entrance hall – office, living room, dining room and kitchen – are united in a single multi-functional space crossed by natural light and views of the garden. In the upper floors, intimate spaces undergo minor changes to achieve the same spatial and material dignity of social spaces below. Among these spaces the most substantial change took place in the attic, where the maids room became the master bedroom, arranged around a large lantern that houses bath spaces. We had already explored the idea of a space as a sensitive device to capture light and the passage of time in Apartment No. 3, although here the light appears more autonomous and absolute.

Title House No. 6 — Restelo
Location Lisbon, Portugal
Built Area 400 m²
Site Area 435 m²
Conclusion 2016
Team Vasco Matias Correia, Patrícia Ferreira de Sousa, Sebastien Alfaiate and Joana Ramos
Photography Nelson Garrido