Foz do Douro, Porto, Portugal
author NOARQ - José Carlos Nunes de Oliveira original project Eduardo Souto de Moura program renovation of a Souto de Moura apartment from 1992 collaborators arch. Gaia Ferraris contractors Arbecor – Alexandre Maia, Martinho Ramos; Ordep Mobiliario – Pedro Andrade; TopMarmi – Romeu Areal, Pedro Teixeira. photography Arménio Teixeira intervention área 290 m² + 85 m²
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, can not radicalize me.
I subtly adulterated the kitchen, a handrail, a stone from a fireplace, and sacrificed a soaking tub.