F o z d o D o u r o, P o r t o, P o r t u g a l.
2018 - 2019
author NOARQ - José Carlos Nunes de Oliveira colaborators arch. Gaia Ferraris. program renovation of a Souto de Moura apartment (1992). intervention área 290 m² + 85 m² location Foz do Douro, Porto. period 2018 - 2019. light and forniture (new elements) Bloft + Noarq – arch. Juliana Costa. constructors Arbecor – Alexandre Maia, Martinho Ramos; Ordep Mobiliario – Pedro Andrade; TopMarmi – Romeu Areal, Pedro Teixeira. photography Arménio Teixeira.
A couple bought a well known penthouse with ocean view. The notorious housing building is almost 30 years old.
It emerged while I was attending college; ravishing at the time, it remains a majesty.
They asked me to renew it by introducing minor changes – "an upgrade basically!"
I shivered! What a fear! Was it an invitation to desecration?
How do you do the renovation of a masterpiece?
How do you do the renovation of a masterpiece of an author at the peak of his activity?
Will there be place for reinterpretation, in a masterpiece? Even if they call them "minor changes"?
I felt stuck into Crime and Punishment – Was I destined to yield to my hubris, only to repent of the heresy for the rest of my life?
I confessed the restlessness to the author. Usually sympathetic, after the surprise, he reassured me and I moved on.
I did the research with himself. We got together twice.
I understood the untouchables and the susceptible of the work, then I freed him to his tasks.
We have preserved and restored, but not only. I did not hold back.
I could not be absolutely faithful. If I did it, it would have been my critical dissolution.
The respect for Eduardo Souto Moura, the profound admiration of his work, could not radicalize me.
I subtly adulterated the kitchen, a handrail, a stone from a fireplace, and sacrificed a soaking tub.
On the stairs, we disassembled and stored the original stainless steel square handrails (too sturdy!), placed on both sides of the ladder.
We replaced it only on the inner side, an unfinished round brass tubular waiting for aging.
In the kitchen, we covered the tiles and dismantled the furniture.
We synthesize the design, as well as the coating of the most demanding surfaces in Corian, replacing the coatings in ceramic and Estremoz marble.
We increased the capacity of the support cabinet, we integrated the appliances.
In the breakfasts corner, we designed a suspended table in lacquered aluminum plate.