Jardim Velho Apartment / André Simão & Nuno Bessa

Jardim Velho Apartment / André Simão & Nuno Bessa

Located in the historic center of Barcelos, in the north of Portugal, facing one of the oldest squares in the city (the “Old Garden”), this apartment is on the top floor of a collective housing building. Both the irregular plan – resulting from the building’s fit into the dense urban fabric – and the multiple sunlight fronts available, served as the motto for the project.

Jardim Velho Apartment / André Simão & Nuno Bessa - Interior Photography, Beam, Bedroom
Jardim Velho Apartment / André Simão & Nuno Bessa - Interior Photography, Column

The social area of the apartment is a lively open space organized as a game between cabinets or open shelves, the expressionist shape of the ceilings, an organic and curvilinear step, all dancing around a monolithic piece of furniture (used for storage, TV/media stand and bar), which is the gravitational center of the project. In this game of tensions, the protagonism of each element is determined by its shape and also by its color or material (from white and inexpressive wall plans, through blue lacquered wooden panels to large surfaces of natural “sucupira” wood – used on the floor, on the upper part of the ceilings and on the furniture – which absorbs the diverse and abundant light).

Jardim Velho Apartment / André Simão & Nuno Bessa - Interior Photography, Living Room, Table, Chair, Windows
Jardim Velho Apartment / André Simão & Nuno Bessa - Image 24 of 24
Jardim Velho Apartment / André Simão & Nuno Bessa - Interior Photography, Countertop, Table, Kitchen, Chair, Beam

The last actor to enter the stage is the artificial light, purposefully made extravagant and diffuse, giving new weight and importance to each of the architectural and decorative elements. The social and private areas are connected by a long, dark, and dramatic corridor, which emphasizes the experience of arriving at each of the apartment’s brightly lit rooms.

Jardim Velho Apartment / André Simão & Nuno Bessa - Interior Photography, Living Room, Table, Chair, Beam

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