Trofa, Porto, Portugal
author NOARQ – José Carlos Nunes de Oliveira program apartment interior renovation collaborators arch. Gonçalo Ferreira, arch. Hugo Araújo, arch. Joana Leite Pinto, arch. Juliana Costa, arch. Lucia Hernandez hydraulic project GEPEC – eng. Jorge Martins gas and climatization GEPEC – eng. Jorge Martins security and electrical project GPIC – eng. Alexandre Martins HVAC project GET – Eng.º Raul Bessa acoustics GEPEC – eng. Rossana Pereira contractors Pedro Sousa Construções lda; Belriba; photography Arménio Teixeira intervention area 153 m²
A complicated process – changing a commercial space into a home. We spent months investigating and asking opinions to the neighbours and collecting signatures.
We had a complicated geometric inheritance, an empty space in a corner of a corner building. The shape of the empty space was determined by the neighbouring units, which converged on both sides of the corner with obtuse angles.There were tensions that were impossible to ignore. Ignoring problems is not my best characteristic. It is a first floor: the lower floors of a residential building can be a labyrinth of infrastructures and structures that support the upper floors. I had found a great example of this. Rehabilitating can mean starting from scratch. I had to connect the new apartment to the supply and sewer systems, electricity, telecommunications, gas and even the building's exhaust system.
2010; 2011; 2012 were difficult years, with difficult access to credit. There was no funding: saving became the main criteria. Nonetheless, I could design (my) space. A simple dream for a tough case. I designed a toilet with just the basics. I drew a door as I would like a door to be. I designed a doorknob as I thought a doorknob should be designed. More with less. I got used to the jargon. I don't spurn any possibility that lets me do architecturem and this time it was for my family of 5. For the first time, I had the chance to live in a design according to some convictions.
They gave me 150 m² of empty space where there used to be a showroom that corresponded to a 1-room and a 2-rooms apartments area in the original building design. Everything needed to be done.
We took advantage of what was there, almost all the wooden floor and most of the plaster ceiling. We divided the space into 3 bedrooms (the boys’ bedroom can be turned into 2 bedrooms); 2 common bathrooms and a toilet, social space and a kitchen.