The "Casa da Filigrana" is part of a 19th century building in Oporto, which, being in poor structural conditions, was recently rehabilitated for a hotel and commerce on the ground floor, with a project by architect Luís Viana.
On the first floor, with independent access through Rua do Almada, a family with connections to goldsmithery since the middle of the 19th century, proposed to create a nucleus with the purpose of enhancing the Portuguese Filigree, giving space and visibility to the various stages of production and exceptional pieces of filigree.
A continuous and circular route that surrounds the central atrium and begins and ends in the box office space, without ever repeating spaces, is the basic principle of the architectural and exhibition project.
The entrance is through Rua do Almada. A hall on the ground floor, with a black marble counter on your left, welcomes visitors. A staircase on the right, which allows a view of the building from one side to the other, with the trees of Praça da Liberdade as a backdrop, shows visitors the route to the ticket office.
With Praça da Liberdade as a backdrop, the box office space has a black marble counter across the entire width. From here, visitors enter the exhibition in a large room that follows the entire southern façade. In this space are located the exhibition nuclei related to the manufacture of the pieces, composed by glass parallelepipeds, about 2.10m high, with some areas lacquered by the interior and ceiling in light box. The glass and black exhibitors are the only source of light in the space, besides the natural light that will enter through the openings of the façade. At the opposite end of the exhibition entrance a workshop bench in mahogany wood, where the craftsmen will work and demonstrate some of the production phases of the filigree pieces, articulates this first room with the second exhibition room where they begin to exhibit filigree pieces.
The second part of the exhibition, composed by filigree pieces from the 19th and 20th centuries, is divided into several rooms, with display windows embedded in the walls and loose glass exhibitors with steel lower structure. The light is sequentially smaller and smaller, giving increasing emphasis to the brightness of the filigree pieces. The last of these rooms is all painted with a very dark color, being only illuminated by each one of the showcases. The result is a space where the main focus is the exceptional filigree pieces and creates a transition to the last moment, an evocation of the use of filigree on the occasion of popular festivals, in a totally black space without general light, with only back-lit information on the walls and ambient sound of popular festivals.
The exhibition ends by returning to the box office area, completing the route, where we designed a central hexagonal table on which various pieces are displayed for sale.
Adjacent to this space there is another more reserved space, dedicated to the family responsible for this project, called "Family Room", in which will be pieces of high filigree jewellery developed by artisans.
The flooring is all in new Riga wood, with ceilings and walls painted white, with painted wooden skirting boards. All the spans and doors will have a detail similar to the old one, with trimmings and leaves in painted wood.