Project name: HL apartment
Office name: ESQVTA
Lead Architec: Vitor Almeida
Collaborators: Diogo Pereira
Project location: Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal
Completion year: 2023
Gross built área: 185 m2
Photo Credits: Nelson Garrido
Courtesy of ESQVTA
The HL apartment is located on the top floor of an industrial-style building, located on the south bank of the Douro River, very close to the Arrábida Bridge. The living and bedrooms are oriented to the north, facing the river, and the service area and TV room are oriented to the south, towards the quarry on the slope.
The program consisted of altering and maximizing the existing distribution, adapting it to new family needs, updating and improving the finishes. Each space should reflect its own personality, emphasizing the characteristics of its occupant or function.
The project merges interior architecture and designer furniture, where each piece is coated with a unique character under the concept of Interior Tailoring. The pieces, more than following a fleeting or seasonal trend, reflect the creative universe of the office and an aesthetic marked by the firm and direct stroke of contemporary architecture.
With total creative freedom in the language used, in response to the individuality of each environment, the theme of Color Blocking is explored in each compartment: for each compartment, a color was defined that reflects the use or personality of the occupant; from that same base color, all the other colors of the space are unfolded with contrasting highlights.
In the bedrooms, fresh colors such as green and blue were chosen, reminiscent of the colors of the river outside, which contrast with points of color from the opposite spectrum, such as red or dark brown. Marble – highlighting the Arabescato Vagli of the sanitary installation and washbasin of the master bedroom – wood, and golden metals close and balance the palettes of these compartments.
The circulation areas are painted in a range of grays, punctuated only by the vibrant colors of painter Paulo Ponte’s works. In continuity with the circulation area, the kitchen appears in a gray tone, but this time for the color of stained oak and Carrara marble on the floor. The exception to this space is the use of brushed brass in the niche of the cabinets and on the central island. This is the environment around which the whole family circulates, and as such, the use of bold materials was defined as the highlight of the project – an island completely covered in brushed brass.
In addition to the fresh or cool base colors, the television room – a space for stopping and relaxing – is dressed in warm tones that unfold from the brown of the walls and ceilings,
through the beige color of oak, to the white of the upholstery punctuated by fiery colors.
This cycle of colors and materials is closed in the social bathroom. Designed with strong visual drama, completely lined with high-gloss red lacquer panels and a polished black glass ceiling. The synthesis of these two colors is made in the Rosso Levanto marble of the sink. A small space, but one that multiplies in reflections and light effects.
When a client seeks the work of ESQVTA, they know that here bold dreams are dreamed, that creative expression is a dominant note, and that developing a new project always opens up unlimited possibilities – all of this was gathered here, and a little more was done: the synthesis of the office’s intentions for a new phase of work that is being designed from here is defined.