Casa na Rua de São Mamede ao Caldas – the project name – was originally built back in the 1700s. The architectural firm Aires Mateus was tasked with refurbishing and extending the ground floor of this historical Lisbon hillside building immersed in a garden, between the medieval castle and the Romanesque cathedral in what can only be described as a strategic position.
Aires Mateus chose a simple approach from the outset, that being to retain the old stone floors and work with the original arched openings and pilasters while injecting a contemporary edge by re-plastering the walls and ceilings and then washing them in white paint. In keeping with the modern day preference for open plan living, the floor plan has been reconfigured so that rooms flow onto one another and are not obstructed or divided by corridors.
The front of the house serves as a central hallway with stairs to the upper floors, which in turn has created efficiently a u-shape to the home with all of the internal rooms overlooking this central area. At the back of the townhouse, a contemporary looking two-story box-like structure has been added and connects with the original building to create more bedrooms and bathrooms, as well as house the owners home office. This beautiful home renovated in 2006 is a classic example of how to work in the old with the new.