This is our first intervention on a Português Suave building – the distinctive architectural style of the dictatorship. In this case, a house built in the 1940s that should be updated to accommodate a family of our time. The house was practically intact and, if it is true that its language reveals a political ideology and a set of aspirations that are now consensually condemned, it is nonetheless very well built, fruit of an effective design and a skillful use of available resources.
A time and emotional distance to the context in which the house emerged allowed us to look at it without a sense of retaliation or glorification, but rather as ready-to-use material, to the individual measure of desire and need. The spatial composition of the house and its language – a fabricated ethnography – are accepted as such. The new walls, windows, doors and fittings are recognizably new but do not establish a dialectical relationship with the original elements: rather a peaceful and silent coexistence.
Text by Camarim 2017