A ground floor is extended in the historic center of Guimarães

A 19th-century building in the Portuguese city, has been enlarged on a project by the Merooficina studio by converting the ground floor from commercial to residential use.

A small lot in the historic center of the Portuguese municipality of Guimarães, defined by rapid hypertrophic urbanization, has recently been the subject of a restoration and extension project by Merooficina studio. The starting point of the intervention is a pre-existing 19th-century building, initially a pivotal element for two additional constructions: a ground-floor extension and a new commercial building.

Merooficina, Casas do Capitão, Guimarães, Portugal, 2021. Photo Tiago Casanova

Therefore, the intervention of the Portuguese studio arrives in continuity with the initial premises of the lot, preserving the accesses and the logical distribution of the pre-existing apartments, increasing the surface area instead of the rooms on the ground floor. Here the new floor plan transforms its typological organization, transforming the empty rooms with a commercial vocation into new apartments with double facing.

The roof of the new volume on the ground floor, designed as a communal green space, is perforated in several points to create patios that allow ventilation and lighting to the new apartments.

Merooficina, Casas do Capitão, Guimarães, Portugal, 2021. Photo Tiago Casanova

The configuration studied is not intended to have a purely visual or aesthetic impact on the, but also environmental and hedonistic. In fact, the design comes from a dialogue with the agricultural terraces that still exist in the city center.

The materials used for the new construction have mainly been recovered and reused from the existing building – such as stones recovered from demolitions, repurposed as outdoor paving or benches. However, these new elements take on their contemporary status and translate into architecture a place where distinct times and heritages coexist.

Casas do Capitão
Architecture studio:
Design team:
Catarina Ribeiro, Vitório Leite, Rafael Monteiro, Francisco Pereira, Rita Serra, Silva and Clarissa Mohany
Engineering and construction:
NVE Engenharias, SA
Total surface:
1810 mq
Rua Capitão Alfredo Guimarães, Azurém, Guimarães, Portugal

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