Standing in a row of traditional townhouses is the long and narrow House in Lisbon. Designed by ARX Portugal, this modern beauty is comprised of two main materials: limestone and concrete. The front facade is enveloped in limestone, one of the most common materials used in Lisbon. The limestone is set in a modern design yet still links the home with its conventional neighbors. The rear of the house focuses on the outdoors: giant windows and several balconies overlook a secluded backyard garden. Almost the entire interior of the house is made of raw concrete. This material twists and turns to define the walls, floors, stairs, and furniture. The house is arranged with the public areas on the lower floors and the more private rooms above. An outdoor refuge is located on the roof: limestone walls hide the user from the street below while a lone tree brings life to the space. Overall, House in Lisbon is a lovely design which uses simple materials to create a harmonious space.
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The WR.02 is a minimalist chair with a fun twist I recently discovered in Lisbon. The chair is created by the Portuguese industrial designer and art director, Marco Sousa Santos. What appeals to me are the fresh lines and the interesting combination of materials, beech wood and rubber, the WR.02 is made up of. The backseat, one piece with the rear legs composing a strong structure, is coated with Rubber Skin creating the illusion of a hard back, yet surprisingly soft and comfortable. I really like how Sousa Santos plays with this illusion. The chair, available in various colours, is part of the new collection of Branca, a new furniture label founded by Sousa Santos.
The ENVELOPE iPad sleeve is a minimalist creation of the Lisbon based studio Anve. The association with a paper product, also suggested by the name, creates a beautiful contrast with the softness of the material (each ENVELOPE is handmade from fine lambskin with the delicate glove leather lining). Designers describe their process: Lisbon is full of old little stores still holding stock from ages ago, and they are a huge source of inspiration. The idea for the ENVELOPE collection came in a stationery shop where we bought an old dried out ink pad we actually never could use. After seeing something which stays in your mind – in this case a beautiful old paper envelope – the process of trying out and crafting begins. The ENVELOPES are produced in small editions and are often unique, depending on the materials used. I love the simplicity of this design and the graceful combination of clear lines and a soft touch.
The Musealization of the Archaeological Site of Praça Nova of São Jorge Castle, in Lisbon, a project by Portuguese architect Joao Luís Carrilho da Graca apart from being an exceptional project has also received the Piranesi Prix de Rome 2010 international prize. But, who could describe this project better than the architect himself? The following text is part of the text published in Pirenesi Prize application. The excavation of the Castle’s Praça Nova, begun in 1996, uncovered remnants of its successive periods of inhabitation, leaving the exposed archeological site open to an intervention of protection and musealization. […] The first action was its clear delimitation with a precise incision: a wall of corten steel to contain the higher perimetrical surface. The same precision was used in the inserted steps, landings and seating, setting them apart from the excavated walls. The canopy for the protection of the XI Century Muslim domestic structures and its frescoes was an opportunity to reproduce its spatial experience. Conjectural, abstract and scenographic, the white walls float above the visible foundations, touching the ground on mere 6 points, while its covering filters the sunlight. Underlying the whole site, the evidence of the Iron Age settlement is exposed and...
When size matters, good design takes action. And when it comes to a 65sqm apartment, everything needs a little more attention, in terms of design. The flat is located in Portugal, in Carcavelos an area near Lisbon and the architect Hugo Proenca transformed it into a contemporary and adequate, despite its size, single residential home. The use of simple lines, the minimal aesthetic and the smart choice of three, basic, design elements, resulted in a bigger looking space without making any functional compromises. A feeling of whole is achieved by removing any useless interior doors, except from those that lead to the bedroom and bathroom. A mirror wall, just opposite the apartment’s entrance maximizes the illusion of space and depth while the need of storage is solved by transforming two of the living room walls into cabinets. I cannot overlook the concept behind that black carpentry. Lacking height (only 2.10m tall) enters the kitchen’s space, intensifying the sense of continuity. Photography by FG+SG
Annett Bourquin and Kerstin Greve are designers from Lisbon, Portugal. Under the label of ANVE, they create objects that take their time, and become more beautiful with life. Their Sacos de papel bags are particularly interesting. Although the association with an ordinary brown paper bag is easily made (Sacos de papel even means paper bags), rolling it up is actually a beautifully lo-fi and valid way to close a bag. And of course it also creates a handle out of nothing; love it.