The Lisbon apartment their clients acquired was, by all accounts, unremarkable: Its building was formulaic and the unit itself poorly kept, a disorienting series of fragmented hallways and small rooms devoid of natural light. Luckily, everyone wanted to start over.
The architects—Fala Atelier, a young collective based in Porto—were given complete freedom by their clients, a pair of French architects making a property investment in Portugal. The firm knocked down all interior walls and began anew, allotting one long hallway in the narrow apartment as the main living space, bordered by a curved wall leading to the private rooms. With the addition of the singular curved wall, “the whole apartment was organized in one gesture,” says project architect Filipe Magalhães.
The curved wall holds five blue-painted doors, “hanging detached from the floor like a set of monochrome paintings,” each leading to an undisclosed private space. The hovering doors resulted from a design problem—several ducts and pipes crossed the floor in that area, so Fala decided to elevate the private spaces to accommodate. “The visual result is quite charming for being the product of a technical need,” said Magalhães. Let’s take a closer look.
Photography by Fernando Guerra, courtesy of Fala Atelier.
“There are five monochrome doors lifted slightly off the ground. From the living room, you have no idea what hides behind each of them,” says the architect.
The project’s budget was appropriate for its complexity, said Magalhães, but on the lower end overall. “This was a cheap project, but we don’t believe adding more money would have made a big difference,” he said. “We are used to working with low budgets and we actually don’t consider that a problem.”
For more in Portugal, see:
- Elegant Minimalism in Lisbon: Santa Clara 1728
- A Family House in Porto Restored, Traditional Tile Included
- Object Lessons: Portuguese Azulejo Tiles Made Modern
Frequently asked questions
What is the article about?
The article is about a narrow marble apartment with hanging mystery doors located in Lisbon.
What is unique about this apartment?
The apartment has hanging mystery doors that are made of solid oak and blend in seamlessly with the surrounding marble walls.
What is the size of the apartment?
The apartment is narrow and compact, measuring only 85 square meters.
What is the inspiration for the design of the apartment?
The design of the apartment is inspired by the traditional Portuguese azulejo tiles, which are used extensively throughout the space.
What kind of materials were used in the apartment?
The apartment features a lot of marble, wood, and metal, as well as traditional Portuguese tiles and other decorative elements.
Who designed the apartment?
The apartment was designed by Portuguese architect Manuel Aires Mateus.
Is the apartment available for rent or purchase?
It is not mentioned in the article whether the apartment is available for rent or purchase.
Are there any other unique features in the apartment?
Yes, the apartment also features a unique spiral staircase that leads up to the loft area.