These two buildings, located in the heart of the Historical Center of Porto, considered a UNESCO World Heritage site, benefit from a crucial location in the process of realignment provoked by the opening of the Mouzinho da Silveira Street, in Porto. The building facing Travessa da Bainharia is virtually older from the cadastral point of view, but probably will have undergone adaptations already in the 20th century, being an expression of a poorer construction. The big challenge was to keep the round stairway, when the entire wooden structure of the floors was replaced by a new iron structure. To have the two buildings become one, while keeping the existing staircase and articulating the two dwellings was also an ambitious goal.
The whole historical process of construction and reconstruction ended up conferring enormous formal, constructive and decorative richness. The corner building evidenced an exceptional construction and a high aesthetic concern, with elaborate window frames and ceilings, round staircase and a very elaborate skylight. With the exception of the detailed ceilings, all the remaining elements were kept - some were recovered, such as the ladder and the skylight – or new replicas were executed, like the window frames, because of their advanced state of degradation.
The other building, constructively poorer, had no elements of relevant value to maintain. Two unconventional dwellings were born because, after all, despite the degradation, both buildings had an exceptional construction and a high aesthetic concern.
Located in one of the most emblematic streets of the city of Porto, this rehabilitation consisted of the almost complete demolition of the entire building, preserving exclusively the stone façades with their original ceramic coating.
The new structure, now metallic, fulfilling the requirements of resistance against fire, is finished with a cover totally lined with wood and overlaid with roof tiles, where the original skylight, which has been restored, is still incorporated. The pavements were executed in viroc and the inner partitions in plasterboard walls.
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