Bela Vista à Lapa Apartment

Lisbon, Portugal

2021 – 2023

Cooking and eating as the center of social and family life


The apartment, dating back to the 1950s, is well-maintained, featuring reinforced concrete slabs supported by resilient solid brick walls. The construction method employed assigns a structural role to all the walls, posing a challenge to the client’s aspiration of an open-space social area.


Through selective demolitions, the dining room and kitchen are strategically placed in the center of the house, with all pathways leading through this area, restoring the act of cooking and eating to a central role in social and family life, like an old rural kitchen*.


These new openings, arranged in a regular manner, enhance the flow of movement and visual connectivity across the spaces. The shape of these openings emphasizes and ritualizes the passage, like portals.


Utilizing the original materials of the house – Pine wood, Lioz limestone, Negro de Mem Martins, and hand-painted tiles – the design strives to imbue them with a modern flair.


*For more information about the central position of kitchens in houses and their evolution, please refer to “A Pattern Language” by Christopher Alexander et al., Chapter 139 – Farmhouse Kitchen.

Project Bela Vista à Lapa Apartment

Location Lisbon, Portugal

Client Private

Program Apartment refurbishment

Area 150m2

Date 2021 – 2023

Architecture Aurora Arquitectos

Architecture Team Sérgio Antunes, Sofia Reis Couto, Kasia Cichecka, Claudia Silveira, Carolina Rocha, Afonso Nunes, Ana Bento, Raquel Sá, Rafael Gonçalves, Joana Orêncio

Photography Do Mal o Menos