Author: NOARQ – arq. Jose Carlos Nunes Oliveira. Collaborators: arq. Gaia Ferraris. Light and forniture: Bloft + NOARQ – arch. Juliana Costa. project: interior renovation. original project: Eduardo Souto de Moura, 1992
Construction: Arbecor – Alexandre Maia; Martinho Ramos; Manuel dos Santos; Ordep Mobiliario – Pedro Andrade; TopMarmi – Romeu Areal, Pedro Teixeira.
Photography: Arménio Teixeira.
A couple bought a well-known sea-view penthouse by Eduardo Souto de Moura. The famous building is almost 30 years old. Sweeping at the time remains a majesty. I was asked to renew it by introducing minor changes: “Upgrade, basically!” I got scared! A fear! Was it an invitation to desecration? Renew a masterpiece? How to renew a masterpiece of an author at the maximum of his career?
Will there be space for reinterpretation of a masterpiece? “Even if they call them minor changes?” Crime and punishment haunted me-heresy or workship? I confessed to the author the restlessness. Usually nice, after the surprise, I was reassured and advanced. I did the research with myself. We met twice. I understood the untouchables and the susceptible of the work, then freed from his tasks. Project and work: we conserved and restored, I didn’t contain myself. I couldn’t be absolutely faithful. If I did, it would be my critical dissolution. Respect for Eduardo Souto de Moura and the deep admiration of his work cannot radicalize me. I subtly tampered with the kitchen, an handrail, a fireplace and sacrificed the soaking tub.
We did some different things about the restoration of Afzélia floors,slate and Estremoz, stucco ceilings and walls; carpentry (particularly of frames), window frames, exterior cladding, window frames, locksmiths:
- We dissembled and stored the original. Handrails in square tubular stainless steel on both sides of the stairs. We have just put on the inner side, a round tubular unfinished brass waiting for aging. - In the kitchen, we covered the tile and disassembled the furniture. We synthesized the design of the furniture as well as the coating of the most demanding Corian surfaces, replacing the Estremoz ceramic and marble tiles. We increased the support cabinet, integrated the appliances. In the breakfast area we designed a table suspended in lacquered aluminium plate. - Similar intervention was performed in the laundry room. - In the maid’s room we added the storage cabinets and a shoe rack fully occupying the walls that support them. - In the living room we removed the Estremoz marble front that designed the fireplace. The apparent robust front, besides being irreparably cracked, was composed of overlapping 2cm blades. We replaced it with a massive 5 cm thick Valverde Blue stone. - In the wall that divides the rooms we removed the installation of the glass shelves and fixed a 5 cm thick stone in Valverde Azul. - We installed a large tubular brass lamp on the ceiling of the dining room. - We freed the existing downlights from the ceiling surface. - In the double bathroom we eliminated the bathtub and we introduced a floor-level shower area. We also designed removable cabinets to support the washbasins in the bathroom and we replaced the taps. - We also integrated the blackouts into the rooms as well as the curtains rail on the ceilings. - We removed all the spotlights on the ceiling. We stored the obsolete lighting fixtures of the author.