The buildings located in Óbidos’ historical centre, in lots 35 and 19 of Rua do Facho have been built in stone masonry (thick outer walls) and covered by several rakes in the first quarter of the 20th century – a time where eclectic and revivalist hints of the late romantic style can still be found in the residential architecture, adopting a construction model executed with traditional materials.
As such, there are elements of a formal and decorative nature that are characteristic of the Portuguese construction tradition: whitewashed masonry walls, wide edged roofing with tile and stone framed stairwells.
The houses were empty and in an advanced state of deterioration. The only original elements that were incorporated in the new project were the main façade, the adjoining wall and the rear wall in no. 35 and the outer walls and the patio linings in no. 19.
In both projects, the construction, details and materials harmoniously respect the previously existing language, being that the alterations focussed solely on improving living conditions.
This project aimed at the recovery of the façades, of the roofing morphology and of the structural inner walls, while maintaining the existing volumetry.
The division into four apartments for accommodation purposes was executed through the enhancement of the several entry points and under the premise of a particular focus on image and surroundings integration.
In order to value this ensemble, the several entry points were maintained on the three wall fronts, which have also allowed to adapt to the new proposed occupation program.
Four apartments have been created, three one-bedrooms and one studio. One of the one-bedrooms can be accessed through the main façade, being that the other two are reached through their own patios on the north side. The entrance of the studio is located south.
The arrival points have thus been individualised and the relationship with the adjacent outer
At 35, Rua do Facho the rehabilitation was executed through the maintenance and recovery of the main façade, gables, existing walls and the garden with its different levels. The aim was to find and highlight the “strongest” themes, and especially the ones that did not embody a chronologic time boundary, thus permitting an articulation with modern living.
Parallel to maintaining the use for accommodation, the goal was to lead the project into typologies that were considered adequate to the exploitation of local housing. The proposed programme has therefore given a particular level of attention to the image and to the integration of the surroundings through the enhancement of morphologic and typological characteristics, such as reinforcing the importance of the levelled patio and the independent entrance through the street.
The proposed alterations configured an entry patio which functions as a second filter in addition to the street’s entrance and which gives access to a communal garden linking the five housing units, to a pool and to the upper part of the garden. The latter can be accessed through a “climb” of the existing rock, which has Óbidos’ medieval wall as a backdrop.
In order to value the richness of this ensemble, the two entry points from the main façade (which has been preserved) have been maintained, allowing access to two different units (one on the ground floor and the other on the first floor). Also, further access points have been added to the garden in order to diversify the paths and consequently, the relationships one has with the environment.
By preserving the pre-existing facade, stone elements have been restored and external wooden casements have been rehabilitated, alongside with whitewash coated wall hangings.
In alignment with the pre-existing language, the new floor structure is made of wood, the outer walls are done in whitewashed masonry, the casements in wood and the roofing is tiled. The wooden structure is visible from the interior, which suggests the typical comfort associated to this material.
The construction adjoined to the wall is the only part displaying a flat landscaped coating so as to be perceived as a thickening of the wall.
Along the walls, the stone elements have been restored as well and the wall hangings were repaired with whitewashed coating. Two new bathrooms have been executed, with dimensions and finishing adequate to the current patterns of comfort.
MARIA VLADIMIRA CARVALHO