The Boavista Street project started from the concept begun in the Santa Teresa project: the insertion of modules which organize the space and shelter the new elements of the program. However, in this project, the abstractionism of the white box was abandoned by introducing details in the volumes. The boxes become furniture, the white gets warmer, and the space gains a more human scale.
The building at Boavista was in a state of absolute ruin, and at the time of our first visit it was impossible to climb up the stairs to the first of five floors. Built in the mid-19th century, in between Praça da República (square) and the iconographical Rotunda da Boavista (roundabout), the building presents the classic layout of a 19th century Porto house, with a rectangular plan, with a centralized staircase, marked by a circular skylight, a sort of symmetrical “front/rear” layout.
The purpose of the design project was the refurbishment of the building and its conversion into a multifamily housing complex consisting of studio and 1-bedroom apartments. Due to the reduced depth of the building and therefore also of the apartments' size, there was the need to design less subdivided spaces where hierarchies are defined by variations in the intensity of light and not by walls or doors.
This resulted in nine apartments of different typologies, forms, and sizes, where ceiling heights, the connection with the exterior and the plasticity of the rooftop and, again, where the dialogue between preexistence and what is proposed is emphasized, through the elements of the original construction that are maintained or reconstructed and the new elements that are inserted.