How do you contend with public and private spaces in an apartment block? The new owners of this building in Lisbon were looking for a way to merge their desire for a garden along with a top floor view of the city, but whilst also letting out subsequent floors for rental. What a dilemma!
The refurbishment by Portuguese architects Aurora Arquitectos splits the building, offering the owners the social on the lower floor, whilst connecting the bedrooms on top via a private elevator.
The front of the apartment maintains its heritage outlook, fitting in well with the rest of the street. Prazeres Building is a little different, however. This one house contains three homes!
No longer dilapidated, do you catch any hint of the stylish contemporary design of the interiors? Step into the home and you can see straight away that a high level of attention to design and craftsmanship was taken in fitting this house.
While the ground floor is dedicated to private owners, the middle sections of the home are connected by wooden stairs, and let out as two separate apartments. All in all there are three spacious dwellings in the building.
Looking up, you can get a sense of the height of the building!
At the top of the staircase is a rather unique and fascinating porthole and ladder leading to the attic space.
The top floor of the home serves as the owners’ private apartment. The bedroom and office room are up here, offering great views over the city.
The bed’s headboard is a custom made design that acts as a convenient partition for the bathtub and wardrobe en-suite element of the room.
With its peculiarly shaped sloped ceiling it was easier to build the bathroom inside its own self contained space, much like this home in Barcelona. Instead of building a bathroom against one wall in the bedroom, using a divider in this way allows for more light to pass through the whole of the room. You can control the amount of privacy and light, with carefully placed keyhole windows and an overhead area.
Large scale mirrors light up the warm toned marble sink and bathtub, blending well with the rich and inviting wood tones of the cabinetry.
The basement contains a gym, spa and laundry room.
The garden area reminds me of an Edward Hopper painting. The calm blue of the pool, the strip of green parted in the middle by marble makes the garden feel cool and collected.
One of the favorite areas of the house for the owners and the architects is the beautiful movement between garden and living room. The kitchen, dining room and living room overlook the garden and pool. Wide windows provide plenty of light and blur the boundaries between indoors and outdoors, sheltered by the overhead balcony.
Much like the headboard area in the upstairs bedroom, the living room makes good use of a wooden partition. A keyhole window in the screen between living room and kitchen keeps the light and flow of the room spacious and open plan.
The Prazeres Building cleverly balances spaces. From the top floor, the home owners can enjoy city views and from the lowest areas of the house they can reach the garden. The two floors in the middle of the building would be too much for the couple alone, so it makes sense that they are made suitable for rental.
We love it when a project can take a historic building with good bones, and transform it into a contemporary dwelling that maintains those gorgeous original features. The Prazeres Building has taken this one step further, with its mesmerizing staircase and fantastic garden to living room flow. Mixing the property into different spaces, it’s a gorgeous building with fascinating details in each room.
Project: Prazeres Building
Design: Aurora Arquitectos
Photos: Do Mal o Menos