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Atelier Data refurbishes a 1930s apartment in Lisbon

Richard John Saymour

Architecture and interiors practice Atelier Data has recently refurbished this apartment located in a 1930s neighbourhood in Lisbon, Portugal.

The design team has conceived the lower floor of the 180-square-metre space to host social functions and the top floor to private ones. The apartment occupies the last two floors of a building, benefiting from views that from northeast are headed by urban landscape and from southeast, in turn, are dominated by great canopies of trees that inhabit a secular garden nearby the building.

Atelier Data has also enriched the relation between interior and exterior through the redesign of the openings, emphasising the connection between those areas.


The large functional wall in the living area, designed to create a unique living space, with its 11.5 meters long,(which concentrate equipment, storage, cooking area etc.) works simultaneously as scenario and as an operating background to support the diverse and multiple actions of the social space.

Mutable in its usage conditions, it allows various interactions and different hierarchies between spaces. Panels that open to reveal the stairs and close to privatise the rooms, panels that open while cooking and close when the kitchen becomes an workspace, panels that extend or gather inside the cabinets gap to individualize spaces, and so are manageable from this structuring as an unifying element of the space.


If the great wall, with its vertical expression, ensures the spatial continuity, also the design of ceiling contributes to this notion of extension and unification. The rhythm of the beams that make up the horizontal plan of the social area, thus reinforces the initial and intuitive desire to create a large space, that goes through the full depth of the apartment, and is crossed by diverse environments, uses and actions.

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all images © Richard John Saymour