InspirationRenovationReal Estate
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Pure minimalism, 60 m² in Lisbon

Jose Miguel's perched pied-à-terre 60 m² Industrial Radically minimal Retro-minimalism Two-storey DC-AD

This Guided Tour is from Sloft Edition 02.

To enjoy the Lisbon sunshine and stay close to the trendiest neighborhoods, there's nothing better than a duplex with terrace! "The apartment is located very close to the Santos-O-Velho church and the French embassy, in a historic and central part of the city. In recent years, this has been one of the places chosen by expatriates to live in. The area has become increasingly expensive, as well as one of the capital's trendiest spots."explains architect Duarte Caldas of the DC.AD studio, in charge of the renovation project.

"Jose Miguel wanted a minimalist vacation apartment."

The duplex takes up the top two levels of a three-stories building built in the early 20th century. "Jose Miguel is Portuguese but currently lives in Mozambique. He wanted a vacation apartment where he could stay when visiting Lisbon. The idea was to design a clean, minimalist place, with a large living room and open kitchen as well as a bathroom adjoining the bedroom." The advantage of having two floors is that it's easy to separate public and private spaces. On the lower level, for instance, all walls have been removed to create a single space combining living room, dining room and kitchen. Indeed, "the main challenge of the project was to meet every need in such a small volume. The existing layout was very compartmentalized, and we had to demolish most of the partitions in order to completely reorganize the space". To achieve this, the apartment's structure had to be reinforced with a metal post-and-beam system; left visible, these new elements subtly delineate several functions.

"The project creates vast areas that connect with each other in fluid movement."

At the top level, everything seems to have been decompartmentalized as well. For the architect, "the project aims to lighten the space by creating vast areas that connect with each other in a fluid movement". So, instead of a conventional door, the bathroom has two pink acrylic panels to create a semi-transparent effect and filter the colored light. They fold down to connect to a freestanding piece containing a metal washbasin around which you can move freely. The different uses are thus visually separated, without ever interrupting the movement of the occupant.

To separate the kitchen from the living room, but without dividing them, DC.AD has created a semi-open metal shelf with built-in storage in the lower section.

This set of same color cabinets integrates and conceals all the kitchen’s functions, while providing a continuous, uncluttered backdrop to the living space.

“The grey lacquered wood unit in the entrance is a multifunctional storage wall for all the kitchen equipment, and one of the doors even gives access to a pantry.”

To create a single vast living space, all partition walls have been removed. The structure had to be reinforced with a metal post and beams, left exposed to mark the different functions: living room, dining room and kitchen.

“The structure behind the sofa acts both as a backrest for the sofa and as a translucent partition separating the kitchen area from the living room.”

The pendant lamp above the dining table is a TR Bulb, designed by Tim Rundle for Menu.

The chairs are the Ria Chair by Branca Lisboa, designed by Marco Sousa Santos using painted stainless steel tubes.

The Domlego is a sofa designed by Manuel Bastos in 2009 for the Portuguese brand Botaca.

The kitchen countertop and backsplash are in “Ruivina” marble. Extracted in Portugal, it is highly resistant to wear and tear, and its dark gray color complements the room’s white and beige tones.

As an extension of the kitchen and its cupboards, a full-height grey door conceals the staircase leading upstairs.

Behind the door, the light-flooded staircase leads up to the bedroom and its bathroom and terrace.

In the center of the space, a mirrored closet separates the bedroom from the bathroom. This freestanding element also forms a corridor in front of the staircase, leading to the dressing room.

“The two doors let more light into the bathroom. Even when they are closed, the pink translucent panels create a unique, colorful atmosphere.”

The mosaic made of 2.5 cm wide off-white tiles covers the entire shower, inside and out.

DC.AD opted for white lacquered MDF (medium-density fiberboard) for the headboard and bedroom furniture.

The terrace lets you soak up the sun and realize that this minimalist, sleek apartment is actually right in the middle of Lisbon and its eclectic and lively vibe!

The “with your eyes closed” addresses of the DC.AD studio:
For the quality of small producers
Rua Cais do Tojo 27, 1200-082 Lisboa
Artisanal and regional food and wine production. Sold in markets and restaurant bars.
For a drink
Rua Gaivotas 11A, 1200-163 Lisboa
This bar recently opened in a designer basement.
Calçada Ribeiro Santos 31,
1200-789 Lisbon
Trendy feminist bar.
For pastéis de nata
Mercado da Ribeira, Avenida 24 de Julho, 1200-479 Lisbon
Bakery specializing in this sweet delight.

Bedhead Bookshelf Marble Metal Niche Open kitchen Plants Terrace Tiles Wood

Photos : Francisco Nogueira
Text : Laurie Picout

Architect : DC-AD