Portuguese firm Rar Studio has recently refurbished this waterfront Lisbon apartment located on the first floor of a residential building built in the second half of the 19th century.

Its expansive area and lofty ceilings, the abundant natural light and the conservation of some of the original finishings and decorative features were not only among the characteristics that the client sought but are also those that best define this home’s identity.

The project correspondingly incorporated the desire to restore, conserve and enhance these same characteristics in conjunction with a proposition contemplating an exercise in interpreting the Lisbon architecture of this period and its respective constituent facets.


The spatial layout of the apartment broadly corresponded to the needs of the client and thus enabling both the safeguarding of its advantageous typological structure and the easy resolution of the programmatic impositions: the provision of substantial areas of storage space for clothing, distributed and incorporated into the three central rooms.


These inner rooms and their respective contents were conceived and designed so as to be able to remain permanently open and interacting with the areas contained in the east and the west of the apartment and thereby endowing an intermittent and metamorphic visual and spatial relationship between these areas.


In the kitchen, where the walls still retained the original 19th century tiles, more recent interventions had introduced disqualifying features, especially the floor tiling and the finishings applied to the work surfaces, and these were correspondingly removed.


In conjunction with the resolution of some pathologies – identified to a greater or lesser extent throughout all the apartment and in the main stemming from building work in the immediate vicinity and past water infiltrations –, in the kitchen, this scope extended to the introduction of a new floor, furniture, infrastructures and equipment whilst specifically acting to protect the tiles and the upper storage cabinet, which was preserved and restored.


The bathrooms, with misaligned layouts and means of access, were subject to profound intervention. In the master bedroom, a new point of access to the bathroom adjoining on the western façade resulted in its own private bathroom in addition to another larger bathroom for the remainder of the house. Both were structurally redesigned with a particular emphasis on the built features and finished in Portuguese pink and tiger skin marbles.

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all images © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG