The original building, on Rua de S. João, presents a coat of arms of Ferraz and Madureira in Manueline style. Regardless of the origin and ownership of the building, the landmark of the reconstruction was the environment where it has been immersed since the 18th century.
The Ribeira area – one of the oldest and typical areas of the city of Oporto – located in the parish of São Nicolau, along the Douro River, is part of the Historic Oporto, UNESCO World Heritage Site. Nowadays, it is an area very visited by tourists and a place of where bars and restaurants flourish.
Movement was the background idea for the conceptual matrix of the intervention. The incessant passing of people, animals, goods and boats through the Ribeira area, as well as goods arriving to meet the local, and as a counterpoint, the wine that leaves to be exported to other countries.
Arcs of circles that expand and close in circles driven by movement – used as a metaphor for the trade in the area during the nineteenth-century Ribeira – that saw the birth of Rua de S. João – declined in each of the apartments of this building.
Simultaneously, with the idea of movement – people who went up and down Rua de S. João, transposed today, for the people entering and leaving these apartments, no longer to work but to enjoy. The street as the channel that connects the water with the earth.
The building as a privileged window, where you can see the life, the people, the passing of time and all the activities of Ribeira, with the permanent arrival and departure of the vessels.
On the ground floor and basement, two spaces occupy a very privileged place in contemporary Oporto: catering and gourmet store are possible features for two shops, but both are prepared for either trade and services.
Integrated in a building whose flow is guaranteed by tourism activity in the area, the location, with large façades to the street of S. João, elevate the potential of eye contact with these stores: either for those who enter and leave the hotel, or for those who pass the street, in the current hustle and bustle of the Oporto Ribeira – these are spaces differentiated and contemporary.