A section of the city’s historic fabric is home to a formally diverse complex that has seen various uses over its history – a residence, a workshop, a factory and a warehouse – and was now bereft of its programmatic potential and had fallen into a very bad state of repair.
The complex is made up of a fine 19th century house built at the lowest elevation on the plot and removed from its original programme down through the 20th century, and a number of volumes built onto the house, marking a period of strong industrial in uence.
Programmatic diversity was the main idea behind the design strategy, i.e. seeking an archaeological celebration of the place, exaltation of the whole span of time found in the existing building and structuring a model for the new era.
The project can be measured on two fronts: one, more constant, is the restoration work on the house itself, which was conserved and recovered in order to extend the life of this type of building which exhibits some of the architectural details and elements of Madeira’s oldest buildings; the other is related to the recycling and re-use of pre-existing structures in a quest for a temporal settling of layers of architectural activities and elements. It thus provides the opportunity to travel through differing periods and spaces, offering new urban experiences and cultures...
‘... Life is beautiful , because it changes... ‘