AMC Apartment from the Portuguese design office Rar Studio is the newest renovated flat, designed to create a brighter and more spacious interior.
Rar Studio is a Lisbon-based architectural practice founded in 2015 by Rita Aguiar Rodrigues.
This Álvaro Siza-designed apartment in Lisbon’s Chiado district is found in one of the blocks that make up Siza’s Terraços de Bragança development – a housing complex completed by the architect in 2004.
Siza decided to rebuild along the street, keeping the contour of the original buildings the way they had been before their demolition. He was inspired by the traditional style of this quarter to use slightly protruding railings and balconies, and stone or azulejos (ceramic) lining, reserving the stone for the commercial façades and the ceramic for houses and offices.
“Working within the scope of a Siza project represented a desirable challenge,” thinks Rar Studio when asked about the AMC apartment.
“The inexorable weight of the inherent responsibility runs in parallel to a sense of pointlessness of intervening within a framework that requires no such work. We thus focused on the needs, desires and expectations of the client,” they said.
To create more space, the architects moved the ventilation systems that were in the bathrooms, bedrooms, corridor, living room and storage room, to a suspended ceiling.
Also, to create a clearer pathway through the communal spaces, the door from the corridor changed and the wall that separated the living room from the dining room was knocked down. In addition, a wall of built-in shelving that separated the living room from the corridor was removed and replaced by an open shelving system that gives separation, while allowing light to be cast onto the corridor.
With the aim of creating a bright and airy ambience, existing dark wooden floorboards were replaced with lighter, broader planks.
The apartment’s internal doors were made taller to make them the same height as the windows, and thinner door frames and taller skirting boards with integrated ventilation grids were installed.
On the bathrooms, as well as the kitchen and pantry, all fixtures and layouts were changed;
baths, sinks and shower trays were built in bold stone blocks that contrast with the new white walls and tiled floors.
Photography is by Fernando Guerra.