A classic case of bourgeois housing in Lisbon, this spacious apartment was fully refurbished. Built in the 1960s, it was cluttered with concrete beams running over a maze of corridors full of woodwork. Instead of the proverbial minimalist whitewash, the renovation embraced some of these spatial oddities while fixing others. Circulations are clustered in two connecting halls, paved with beige terrazzo. Velvety wallpaper, penny mosaic tiles, and colored ceilings decorate the rooms. Parquet floors connect to a thick baseboard carrying ducts. This mahogany serpentine unfolds into steps and frames, recalling the original carpentry of the apartment. While not a pastiche, the project revives the posh style of its interiors. This makeover blurs old and new architecture, since “the future is but the obsolete in reverse.”

Date: 2005 | Location: Lisbon, Portugal | Client: João Pedro Xavier | Architecture: Patrícia Barbas, Diogo Lopes
Contractor: Área Civil | Carpentry: Liscarpi
Photography: Steve Stöer | Area: 300 m2 | Budget: 300.000 €