Building in Costa do Castelo

Lisbon, Portugal

2014 – 2019

This building with two apartments is located in Costa do Castelo, a street that surrounds the hill and where its buildings hide the view towards the city of Lisbon.


To counteract with the horizontal extension of the plot, an interior void crosses and illuminates every floor. This void organizes the building circulation and allows one to watch the sky or the person two levels below.


A vertical view that complements the dominating horizontality of the outer landscape.

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 is divided into two apartments: a duplex on the lower floors, and a triplex on the upper floors, both with their circulations around the central void. The social areas of the apartments, living room and kitchen, spread around the total dimension of the plot and are complemented with exterior areas with swimming pool.

Project Building in Costa do Castelo

Location Lisbon, Portugal

Client Private

Program Building reconstruction and split into 2 apartments

Area 800 m2

Project status Built

Date 2014 – 2019

Architecture Aurora Arquitectos

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

Engineering Edifiteca

Building supervision GESCONSULT

Construction Manuel Mateus Frazão, Lda