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  • Writer's pictureDuarte R

Housing rehabilitation in Lisbon

Updated: Sep 22, 2022


Multi-family residential building from the second half of the 18th century or early 19th century.



In 2022, the renovation and extension work continues on a multi-family residential building in the parish of Estrela, in Lisbon.

The building is composed of three housing floors and a shop on the ground floor, with a small patio at the back of the first floor. The exterior walls and flanking walls are in stone and brick masonry bonded with sand and lime mortar. The interior walls are in wood partitioning, fasquiado and gaiola. On the ground floor there is an arched support system. On the upper floors, the pavements, the stairs and the roof are supported by wooden beams. The floors are in parquet and the ceilings in saia-camisa. The roof has two slopes covered with Marselha tiles, with traditional eaves set on a cornice. The composition of the main elevation is symmetrical with three stone-framed openings on each floor, crowned by a façade dormer with a triangular pediment. The walls of the main façade are covered with azulejo (tiles).

"On the ground floor, the azulejos are green with reliefs in a vegetalist theme, dating from the second half of the 20th century. On the upper floors, on the dormer and the tympanum of the pediment, the azulejos have a polychrome pattern in a vegetalist theme, with friezes marking the stonework elements and a blue flower in the centre of the pediment of the dormer, datable to the third quarter of the 18th century."

The state of conservation of the building is quite poor and, considering the architectural simplicity of the building's interior, what is most valuable is its external image, namely that given by the composition and scale of the main façade, the azulejo cladding and the unique morphology of the dormer window.


The intervention


The project aims at maintaining the multifamily housing program extended to the ground floor. The intervention presupposes an internal reconfiguration of the building, keeping the structural elements reinforced with metallic elements from the ground floor to the roof.

The roof morphology is replicated but with a steeper slope and with a technical area at the back for the installation of ventilation equipment. The roof is fitted with windows that are integrated with the roof.

The programme consists of four dwellings, one per floor, including the ground floor, of which three are one bedroom and one is a two bedroom duplex on the top floor. Therefore, the functional regeneration of the spaces will be carried out floor by floor, to bring them up to current standards of comfort, with larger areas, with kitchenettes and well equipped bathrooms, with technical and storage areas. The vertical communication between the floors is ensured by the existing staircase, with changes at the level of skids and railings for greater comfort and safety of users.

The main elevation maintains the original design and the tile cladding, but the partitions of the dormer are extended laterally with two spans, slightly recessed to highlight the presence of the façade's dormer. The sidelights of the dormer are also extended. The back elevation is reconfigured at ground and first floor level, with the occupation of the patio at ground level partially extended to the ground floor with a winter garden. The wall facing the back elevation is covered with a vertical garden.






Duarte Palma Rato, Arch.

Work in progress, 2022

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