THE BUILDING The history of this building dates back to the 14th century. In fact, everything indicates that initially it would be two buildings that have evolved to the present configuration. During the period almadino gained this neoclassical facade. In the twentieth century the pair Carlos Loureiro and Padua Ramos designed a modernist staircase of extreme elegance. When it came to us, all we had to do was to respect all these layers that had struck a remarkable balance there. It was a bank. Before that there were many things: dispatchers offices, insurance firms, warehouse. Someone's house in the early days. Now it's a hotel. We do not know tomorrow. We know, however, that whoever comes next will continue to be able to recognize this timeline in the building. And if all goes well, you will not realize that we were there.
THE HISTORY The building for which this rehabilitation project was developed is located in the Historic Center of Porto, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. For the last 50 years it has been a bank and our mission has been to convert it into a 4 star hotel unit. The existing building, in reasonable condition, has two fronts. The main one is directed to Rua do Infante Dom Henrique and the back to the neighboring building, Alfândega Velha or Casa do Infante (built year: 1325), where the Porto Municipal Historical Archive currently operates. Our building is set at an angle from the tower of the primitive "Alfândega" (custom house), taking advantage of its stone wall. The reconstitution of the timeline shows that, in fact, we are not facing a building, but two buildings that have evolved into a single building. The initial building may have been erected in the late 14th or 15th centuries. Surely, it could only have been erected only after the "opening" of Rua Nova, or Rua Formosa (now Rua do Infante), ordered by D. João I (1357-1433). The building that exists today has gone through three major transformations: - 14th-15th century: period of construction of the rear wall and the east wall, which will certainly be after the opening of Rua Nova, or Rua Formosa; - "Almadino" period: construction of the main façade, which should date from c. 1780-1820 and whose step facing the ground floor alignment should be reminiscent of the medieval building - a solution which, incidentally, was used in some other buildings of this street, when they were renovated after the Middle Ages; - the twentieth century: which corresponds to the interior walls and floor distribution, besides the appendix in the old street, almost everything from the 1970s, a project by the architects José Carlos Loureiro and Padua Ramos. In this last period the building has undergone major structural changes. All floor tiles are concrete and the interior no longer has any relevant original decorative elements. Of note is the sculptural staircase of modernist style introduced in the scheme of vertical circulation.
THE PROJECT The proposal was based on the pre-existence, the physical characterization of the building and the new program, which foresees the maintenance of the service function, but now as a 4 star Hotel unit. Due to the fact that it is a building that was in use, its relatively good state of preservation allowed us to think of a low intrusive intervention, using the modifications made during the twentieth century, namely the introduction of concrete slabs. A critical reading of the various historical layers incorporated into the building was made and solutions were adopted for a smooth transition from the "bank" to the "hotel" function. The guiding principle was to add elements without compromising the presence of the various historical layers and to do so in order to guarantee the reversibility of the intervention. In general, the façades, the main stone masonry structure and all the original decorative elements were preserved, including some inscriptions of medieval acronyms engraved by masons. It is also possible to see an arch that goes back to the original building and a nineteenth century staircase that is intended to be kept, forming part of the multifunctional space designed on this floor. It was chosen to preserve, for its architectural value, the staircase introduced in the 70's. The changes essentially concern the interior divisions and the organization of space to accommodate the new function. Comfort conditions will also be improved by adapting it to the requirements of the hotel function. The hotel project has 17 rooms and works as follows: 1. Floor 0 - Hotel entrance with reception, breakfast space, bar and a kitchen for breakfast preparation. 2. Floor -1 - This floor consists of a multipurpose room that will support the use of the hotel. 3. In the space attached to the main building is a volume containing three floors. These three floors will be used to support the hotel kitchen, as well as for staff changing rooms, toilets to support the common areas, storage space and a pantry in the basement with access to the kitchen through a dishwasher. 4. On floors 1, 2, 3 and 4 (attic) are distributed the 17 rooms with areas ranging from 16.70m2 to 30.16m2.
DATA: Total land area: 168,00 m2 Implantation area: 168,00 m2 Total construction area: 1102.34 m2 Gross building area: 1077.87 m2 Height: 16.18 m Volumetry: ≈ 4818.28 m3 Number of Floors Above threshold: 5 Number of floors below threshold: 1 Total number of floors: 6, one in the basement and one with use of the attic. Function: 4 Star Hotel