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Building in Costa do Castelo

Lisbon, Portugal

2014 – …

Is very movement around a center centrifugal?

The project, which comprises a duplex on the lower floors, and a triplex on the upper floors, develops around this lightwell as a central element able to introduce balance in the preexistent horizontal relations. If, on the one hand, this horizontality spreads the floorplans in search of a vanishing point on the exterior, on the other, it is the lightwell that interconnects all floors, establishing itself as an internal vertical counterpoint. Thus, the polarized design that usually characterizes the plan of such buildings, now suggests the reinterpretation of its own center.

In the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century, the context of rapid city expansion and growing need for housing in Lisbon led to the appearance of buildings dubbed ‘Gaioleiros’. One of the most recognizable features of this type of buildings is the unusually big depth of the lots, marked by corridors running through the apartments across their full length. The original layout of these buildings suggest a polarization of the social and functional areas at both ends, while the bedrooms are organized around a central lightwell.

For this specific ‘Gaioleiro’ located in Costa do Castelo, in addition to the features that inherently belong to this typology, the terrain’s steep slope allows a generous view over Lisbon. The natural consequence would then be a horizontal distribution logic that seeks, above all, a relationship with the landscape.
Instead, the expansion of the lightwell through its ‘duplication’ and incorporation of the stair core reinforces a relationship that is meant to be zenithal, in search of light and ventilation. Therefore, it ceases to be the element that divides the building in half to become a centripetal force that organizes all its circulations, activities and celebrates its interior.

The project, which comprises a duplex on the lower floors, and a triplex on the upper floors, develops around this lightwell as a central element able to introduce balance in the preexistent horizontal relations. If, on the one hand, this horizontality spreads the floorplans in search of a vanishing point on the exterior, on the other, it is the lightwell that interconnects all floors, establishing itself as an internal vertical counterpoint. Thus, the polarized design that usually characterizes the plan of such buildings, now suggests the reinterpretation of its own center.

Project Building in Costa do Castelo

Location Lisbon, Portugal

Client Private

Program Building reconstruction and split into 2 apartments

Area 800 m2

Project status Final finishes

Date 2014 – …

Architecture Aurora Arquitectos

Architecture team Sérgio Antunes, Sofia Reis Couto, Rita Ferreira, Pedro França, Bruno Pereira, Tânia Sousa, Valeria Varesco, Rui Baltazar

Engineering Edifiteca

Building supervision GESCONSULT

Construction Manuel Mateus Frazão, Lda

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