Building rehabilitation in Calçada do Lavra
by Jorge Mealha Arquitecto

| 8 comments

A suspended ceiling folds erratically around the uppermost apartment of a Lisbon block that Portuguese architect Jorge Mealha has refurbished.

Building rehabilitation in Calçada do Lavra by Jorge Mealha Arquitecto

The walls of the apartment also comprise a series of angled planes, which converge awkwardly with the faceted ceilings to surround lower level living rooms and a mezzanine deck above.

Building rehabilitation in Calçada do Lavra by Jorge Mealha Arquitecto

These folding walls are repeated in the building's access corridors as well as inside some of the seven other apartments in the building.

Building rehabilitation in Calçada do Lavra by Jorge Mealha Arquitecto

Decorative white shutters hinge across windows throughout the block, while existing pine floors have been retained and restored.

Building rehabilitation in Calçada do Lavra by Jorge Mealha Arquitecto

We've published a few other white-rendered buildings by Jorge Mealha on Dezeen, which you can see here.

Building rehabilitation in Calçada do Lavra by Jorge Mealha Arquitecto

Photography is by João Morgado.

Building rehabilitation in Calçada do Lavra by Jorge Mealha Arquitecto

More explanation from the architects can be found below:


This project concerns the rehabilitation of an old building, presumably built at the end of the XIX century, but that was only registered in 1906.

Building rehabilitation in Calçada do Lavra by Jorge Mealha Arquitecto

A cost-controlled operation, proposed by the owner, Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Lisboa, intended to rehab this building that was at risk of collapse.

Building rehabilitation in Calçada do Lavra by Jorge Mealha Arquitecto

The project seeks to preserve as much as possible of the original elements of the building - floors and walls - proposing a reformulation of the existing subdivision, which was characterized by having too cramped spaces, resulting in the creation of eight apartments, two of which are duplexe.

Building rehabilitation in Calçada do Lavra by Jorge Mealha Arquitecto

Taking advantage of the need for the introduction of a lift, the entrance lobby is redesigned, suggesting a path that bypasses the volume - released from outer walls - required for the placing of this equipment.

Building rehabilitation in Calçada do Lavra by Jorge Mealha Arquitecto

The new design of the atrium that extends its original dimension, emphasises the perspective on the existent ladder, which is maintained, allowing for a better natural lighting and offering a few scale games and cross perspectives.

Building rehabilitation in Calçada do Lavra by Jorge Mealha Arquitecto

Whenever possible, the strategy was to preserve the existing floor - pine wood - assuming the amendments in the areas where due to its degradation it has been replaced.

Building rehabilitation in Calçada do Lavra by Jorge Mealha Arquitecto

The walls and ceilings are plastered and painted white.

Building rehabilitation in Calçada do Lavra by Jorge Mealha Arquitecto

Some elements are finished with stone or birth.

Building rehabilitation in Calçada do Lavra by Jorge Mealha Arquitecto

The shutters of the windows were restored and painted white, while maintaining the original.

Building rehabilitation in Calçada do Lavra by Jorge Mealha Arquitecto

Access doors to the apartments are also maintained, leaving marks of previous interventions and wood working as notes of color and texture on the stairs.

Building rehabilitation in Calçada do Lavra by Jorge Mealha Arquitecto

The external walls and elements are painted in white in their entirety in order to allow the design of its parts to he read by the incident light throughout the day.

Building rehabilitation in Calçada do Lavra by Jorge Mealha Arquitecto

Author: Jorge Mealha
Project Team: João Sítima (Site Works Leader), Rita Melancia (Project Leader), Teófilo Raposo, Gonçalo Silva, Pedro Hormigo, Ricardo Manaia

Building rehabilitation in Calçada do Lavra by Jorge Mealha Arquitecto

Local: Calçada do Lavra, 11 - 11A, Lisbon

Building rehabilitation in Calçada do Lavra by Jorge Mealha Arquitecto

Project: 2006 - 2008
Building: 2010 - 2011

Building rehabilitation in Calçada do Lavra by Jorge Mealha Arquitecto

  • mik

    why publishing 20 photos and a section and no plan?
    The only thing that looks disturbing is the stair. It looks to big to just get into a mezaninne.
    otherwise it's ok

  • hotte

    I don’t get the folded ceiling. I looks interesting but why waste so much space?

    It looks cramped in the photo while on the drawing you see that there is more space above…

  • rock

    nice touch taking the exterior stone into the interior, using it at the base of some vertical elements.
    as for the photo presentation, as an explanation of the project, it could easily be reversed to start with the exterior shot, then enter the building and rise through it to finish at the attic. (dezeen decision?)

  • Ogier de Beauseant

    Beautiful floor in a cool building tho' proximity to trolleys…
    Lack of contrast makes reading the efficacy of the ceiling treatment doubtful but I would guess it's inspiring and as was mentioned plans would help and does the apartment have a bathroom or kitchen?

  • Manuel

    When you see the section it is very dissapointing. With that "fold" he is just waisting space between the ceiling and the roof.

    • https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000444017203 Jorge Mealha

      Dear Manuel,
      just a brief note to clarify a bit this project. The space above the folded ceiling is completely full with existent structural elements of the roof. In order to preserve the structure of the existent roof we just have tried to surround all those elements with a free and expressive design. All spaces above the folded false ceiling are inaccessible or full with structural elements.
      Regards,
      Jorge Mealha

  • Nuno

    Is beautiful… but we can not named that like a rehabilitation project… the old house has been completely destroyed. just the facade stays up.

    • http://www.jorgemealha.com Jorge Mealha

      Nuno,

      The existent building was maintained in about 75%-80%. Almost all wood the slabs have been retained (we only replaced the ones already destroyed) a lot of the internal walls and the staircase where preserved. The main doors – the apartments entrance – and wood window shutters are the originals with around one hundred years.

      We just clothed (with gypsum boards) some inner elements with a simpler geometry, trying to achieve a balance between existent and contemporary language.

      It is an inexpensive rehabilitation project.

      Regards, Jorge Mealha