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Porto, Portugal


authors  José Carlos Nunes de Oliveira, Francisco Guedes de Carvalho, Jorge Pinto Vieira, Paulo Costa program café interior renovation  collaborators Rui Cardoso  contractors  Manuel Sousa Vieira, Luz e Som  technical consulting  Francisco Bernardo, Fernando Lopes, Raul Serafim  graphic design  Ricardo Sapage  decoration  B.LOFT, Preto Alface, L de Luz  photography  Arménio Teixeira  intervention área 90,21 m²




“... food isn't working, I want to sell drinks!” 

At its 7th life, a tiny restaurant that came back as a bar. All that remained of the dining room was the owner, the license and the tiny 50 m2. The complexity of the programme was endless from technical, spatial and legal points of view. 

Pantry, counter, room and toilets. One single doubt, still remains actually, the "target".They called it Porto Cenário... a bit pretentious perhaps, risky at the least.The old building on the quayside smiled at the river. It is a witness to an old place.The bowels were not just old, like the body, they had been submitted to mistreatment, they were suffering from a long-term illness. The poorly applied prosthetics were in plain sight, abuses of kitsch and pretence everywhere you looked.– It was not pretty! That's no way to treat the elderly!There was no money for the elderly's ambitions, we just took care of his health.Restoration was out of the question; however, archaeology was in plain sight and history is the privilege of the few. The idea behind the project was to reveal the old body. We made incisions, we tore and peeled back the skin from the meat and exposed everything down to the skeleton.We gave it back some of the dignity that had been lost through materials such as plasterboard, paint, textiles and wood on the floor. It is now a case study, discrete to the outside through textile transparencies. We dedicated the light to the presences and the movement of people, not the space. It will be illuminated in the twilight of the quay.

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