Nº 156, Rua da Junqueira formerly had a banal garage door like many to be seen all over the city. Behind that door a passageway ending in a stone arch gave onto a plot of land with three disused warehouses.
The only similarity with the current reality is the arch, which has been kept. All the rest has changed for the better. Very close to Junqueira Fountain, 156, Rua da Junqueira is another well-kept secret in the city of Lisbon.
There is nothing to alert an unsuspecting passer-by. However, anyone going through the iron gate that replaced the old iron door, will notice a reality that cannot be anticipated. The old warehouses have given way to a modern condominium of two rows of houses separated by a communal garden.
The houses, designed in a language that is as sober as it is clear, evoke the old warehouses through the use of the brick that covers the façades and the iron visible in some of the architectural features.
Although this is a gated condominium, we do not feel walled in. The buildings are open to the sunlight and the surrounding trees stop people’s eyes from wandering to the encircling walls. With an amplitude that exceeds its physical boundaries and although conveying a sensation of seclusion it evokes no loneliness disorder.
That is really the cardinal virtue of this project: the manner in which it links the interior with the exterior, freedom and privacy, past and present. The difficult balance resulting from the dialogue it maintains with so many potentially contrary elements is the Archimedean point of its inhabitability.