A significant challenge: to rehabilitate a 19th century building at Porto’s historic centre, on a symbolic area such as the Infante Square, opposite to the Mercado Ferreira Borges and Bolsa Palace. The Infante D. Henrique street, at the number 75, now rehabilitated into the Forrester Building, was where most probably the Baron James Forrester has lived, a prominent figure of Port Wine.
The program’s focus was to transform the upper floors of the building and adapt them in order to receive an office floor and seven apartments, two with a duplex typology. The office floor will make the transition between the dining establishment in the same space of the old Restaurante Comercial, on the ground floor of the building, and the floors for housing; the normal function of the restaurant won’t reduce the comfort in the apartments.
The intervention is also conditioned by a previous, already performed, configuration; the vertical distribution, stair and lift, and also the new metal structure. From these constraints, coupled with the specificity of the building, we have tried to balance both the uniqueness of the spatial characteristics of the 19th century construction and the introduction of modern elements, associated with contemporary living. At the façade, the determinant change has been the alteration of colours; it had a fundamental role the attention given to the tiles at the ground floor which make a sort of frame to the existing finish in elegant iron.Location: Portugal Architect: Correia/Ragazzi arquitectos