Located in the historic neighborhood of Chiado, architect Fernanda Marques’ apartment in Lisbon is part of a building that underwent an audacious revitalization process, led a decade ago by the 1992 Pritzker Prize winner Álvaro Siza. Its construction dates back to 1500. It once housed a monastery, but today its use is exclusively residential.

Minimalist design with historic appeal

Each unit is different from the other, but all have thick walls, reminiscent of their original architecture. “Let’s just say that here you can literally feel the weight of history”, jokes Fernanda. Thus, imprinting traces of the local past and culture into the apartment’s interiors became, from the beginning, one of her priorities.

“I like the feeling of belonging that is enjoyed here. But that doesn’t mean that I would say that my apartment is less contemporary than my other projects”, she says, directing her team, locally and remotely, completing the renovation of the property within 4 months. From the original construction, only the ‘boisseries’, or wooden frames, were preserved.

The Portuguese presence is immediately felt through a panel of blue and white tiles from the 18th century. XNUMX, reproducing the baptism of Christ, in the center of the living room. But also in the kitchen, fully integrated into the environment, which had its back wall covered in marble from the Portuguese region of Alentejo.

True to its minimalist vocation, furniture and art were used sparingly. Great emphasis was placed on maintaining empty areas, here and there punctuated by key pieces. Mainly Italian design, but also vintage inspired. Like the table with organic lines that the architect found in Paris.
“I like promoting unexpected encounters in my projects”, she declares, who, admittedly, does not like the idea of ​​combining pieces and styles. “I believe in furniture that, due to its intrinsic qualities, has autonomy, its own identity”, she concludes.