Fala Atelier guts Lisbon apartment
to create bright open-plan home

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Porto studio Fala Atelier has overhauled the layout of a cramped flat in Lisbon, adding sliding doors that connect each room to a central living area and small balcony.

Principe Real apartment by Fala Atelier

The 60-square-metre Príncipe Real Apartment, contained within an old tile-clad block in downtown Lisbon, was reorganised and refurbished by the co-founders of Fala Atelier, Filipe Magalhães and Ana Luisa Soares.

Principe Real apartment by Fala Atelier

The architects removed all interior walls from the tightly-packed plan and started again, adding just two partitions to create a largely open-plan space.



Mirrored and glass doors, which reflect light from windows on both the north and south facades, slide off a central living and dining space into bedrooms and bathrooms on either side.

Principe Real apartment by Fala Atelier

"Although charming at the first glance, it was somehow broken," said the architects. "The spatial system was erratic, with all the things in the wrong place."

Principe Real apartment by Fala Atelier

"The main idea behind the project was to redefine its priorities, correcting it, while framing the view. All the walls were removed and the programme was flipped 180 degrees."

Principe Real apartment by Fala Atelier

Living spaces were grouped together and moved from the north to the south side of the flat to benefit from better light and views of the city from the small enclosed balcony.

Principe Real apartment by Fala Atelier

The patio has two glazed sides and is connected to the living space by two doorways and an adjoining white brick wall.

Principe Real apartment by Fala Atelier

"The balcony and living room became the continuation of each other," said the studio.

Principe Real apartment by Fala Atelier

The floor is patterned with black and white tiles that relate to the building's decorative facade. Two mustard-coloured Masters Chairs by Philippe Starck add colour.

Principe Real apartment by Fala Atelier

A small toilet and shower-room are housed behind a sliding mirrored door.

Principe Real apartment by Fala Atelier

A windowless bedroom with no appreciation of the city views was originally landlocked in the centre of the plan. This and a second bedroom were re-situated side by side across the width of the north facade.

French doors open from the master bedroom onto a small balcony.

Principe Real apartment by Fala Atelier

The walls and ceiling were painted bright white throughout. According to the architects, they become "a clear canvas for the few pieces of furniture placed like independent objects in the space".

Principe Real apartment by Fala Atelier

A deep green sideboard imprinted with a tessellating geometric print sits on one side of the living space, providing a preparation area for the kitchen, while in one bedroom a chest of pale-blue drawers has a diamond pattern cut into its surface.

Principe Real apartment by Fala Atelier

Photography is by Fernando Guerra.

Principe Real apartment by Fala Atelier
Floor plan – click for larger image
Principe Real apartment by Fala Atelier
Section – click for larger image