Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Rua, Restaurant/Bar in Porto, Portugal by Proj3ct and Pluggo
May 16th, 2013 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Proj3ct and Pluggo
Located on the blooming nightlife district of Oporto’s downtown, RUA occupies the ground floor of an old building facing a narrow yet busy street. The vacant space matched in many ways the traditional construction of Oporto old city center: narrow lots with high openings and ceilings, the extensive use of granite stone and local painted ceramic tiles (“azulejo”) on the façades, the appropriation of small and cozy patios. The relation towards the street was quite effective and dominant, as it could be enhanced towards the existing patio.
The premises were set quite clearly: to allow an informal use of the space and to focus on the traditional elements that are present on the Portuguese public spaces. So, the concept was built around the inversion of the notion of inner space, by mitigating the spatial limits and by inflating all surfaces and equipments with references to some materials and forms that can be easily recognizable on the urban landscape. All the private facilities were designed and placed in order to become invisible to the customer, while focusing on the public space experience.
Instinctively we emphasized on the nature of the pavement and the counter, which would be the key elements of the space and should have prominence to the sights. The pavement is a mosaic of granite stones set on a plain and neutral composition. The counter is made of iron bars which are related to the bollards that can be found on the nearby streets, and prefabricated concrete slabs related to the existing urban benches.
On the other hand, the wall facing the counter is covered in mirror and bright aluminum sheets and the ceiling is made of white acoustic foam, attempting to anull the spatial constrictments and expand our perception of the room. At the back of the counter, the wall is painted with an hyper-realistic graffiti made by a local artist. The existing staircase that is place in the middle of the room was an obvious barrier, so we found it easier and proper to anull it by mingle it with the complexity of the graffiti scene. The furniture is thought to be light-weighted and easy to displace, attending not only to the overall concept and to a switch-over of use as well.
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