Lisbon. Pastel paintwork offsets historic details in three apartments

The warren-like layouts of many Lisbon apartments are being replaced by fashionable open-plan arrangements, but this trio of homes eschews the trend.

When architects Sofia Couto and Sérgio Antunes of Aurora Arquitectos
 were commissioned by a developer to transform one floor of the 18th-century building into three apartments they paid careful attention to retaining traces of what had been left behind.

Three decades of use as a tannery in the late 20th century depleted many of the original features, leaving only the floorplan and a few ornamental mouldings and paintings.

The floor has been carefully subdivided to create three new apartments, without the addition of corridors or extra circulation spaces commonly added in contemporary renovations in the city. This attention  retains the “integrity” of the Pombalino building, which was built to new seismic resistance standards following the 1755 Lisbon Earthquake under Prime Minister Marques de Pombal – from whom the typology gains its name.

Aurora Arquitectos, Pombalino Apartments, Lisbon, Portugal, 2018
Aurora Arquitectos, Pombalino Apartments, Lisbon, Portugal, 2018

In keeping with the style, the generously sized rooms are sparsely decorated in a monogenous style. Doors, shutters, cabinetry and skirting boards are made from pastel-painted wood, which each apartment given its own individual colourway. The clean lines and continuity of either pale blue or cream paintwork throughout offsets the few remaining original features.

Surfaces made from Liós limestone, pine wood and handmade tiles are a further nod to the traditional decoration of buildings of this era.

Pombalino Apartments
Lisbon, Portugal
Aurora Arquitectos
Design team:
Sérgio Antunes, Sofia Reis Couto, Pedro França, Bruno Pereira, Tânia Sousa, Inês Forte, Carolina Rocha, Ivo Lapa, Rui Baltazar
314,5 mq

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