The origin of this home dates back to 1891 when Father Francisco Maria Rodrigues d'Oliveira Grainha built the college as well as the chapel inside it. As the years took their toll on this historical monument, leaving it in a degraded and abandoned state, it is amazing to see how it was brought back to life. This miracle was accomplished by architect David Bilo, operating mainly in Coimbra, who managed to stay respectful to the history of the building whilst performing a complete: Restoration and renovation!
Let's see it now!
This is what the building appeared like before any work was begun. We can see that the monument had huge potential to be turned into something great, but the advanced stage of disintegration was no doubt a challenge for the restoration team. Not only is the facade a ruin, along with broken windows and loose stones, we can also see that there really is not much left on the inside either.
The interior is has come unhinged, so to say; there are no more windows, the floor is a den of waste and rubble whilst the walls are invaded by moss. The outlook seemed hopeless and whilst undoubtedly the space still possessed a certain charm, starting on a complex renovation project like this was not easy.
The origins of the building have been honored, its history is still visible in this totally renovated facade. The stone staircase however has been removed as it was likely not functional at the distribution level. The windows are finally secured and the white color scheme of the building gives it strength along with incredible impact.
With the stone completely mended and cleaned, what immediately stands out is the stained glass window which lights the chapel with a colored geometric composition, making it very modern. The pavement outside is completely refurbished, whilst the brown doors appear sturdy and wholesome.
The architectural design has stayed loyal to its religious roots, but the changes which have been initiated have adapted to modern needs. The height of the ceiling along with the dignified glow of the building overall, reminds us that every detail is significant in this renovation.
The new interior speaks a Scandinavian language. Clean lines and strong geometries have been retained whilst honoring the importance of space. At the same time, with the use of a modern pattern for the tiles and raw materials such as light wood and the white laminate, the stiff formality of the building has been subtly dissolved.This room is now warm, comfortable and fresh; the kitchen both elegant and informal.