Casa do Conto: Wandering through one of the arteries of Porto, you’ll certainly find Casa do Conto, a charming house located in the re-emerging area of Cedofeita. Its location will, definitely, be one important factor to make you fall in love with this unique place. But the secrets of Casa do Conto don’t end up here. Actually, we have just started to unveil them.
The first thing you might notice is that, at the entrance of the number 703 of Rua da Boavista, the location of this “arts & residence” design hotel, you can read a sign that says “Foi 503” – “It was 503”. The story behind this is unique and a unique history of life that ends up being the history of the city changing.
The reconstruction project of this building has prepared a bourgeois house of the 19th century to welcome discerning and selective visitors in an environment with a strong image and culture. An innovative project that could only be born in the urban context of a city with a remarkable personality.
It was 2008 when Casa do Conto was born and gave shape to a remarkable project. Unfortunately, a fateful fire in March 2009 interrupted this process, but not the collective will to achieve it. And there were many those who, then, generously, wanted to honour and support it.
The Design Hotel now reappears, completely rehabilitated, proposing, once again, to counter the usual residential supply of the city, which is increasingly generic and impersonal.
Inside it, the domestic, solemn and vertical architecture, characteristic of the 19th century Porto stands out, marked by the scars of that time that mediates its decline and rebirth, the memory of the past and the desire for the future, the granite of the old façades and the new raw concrete from the staircase and ceilings. It’s, in fact, a “fossil architecture” that comes to life.
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Recorded by different texts, and covering six distinct rooms, these ceilings “talk to us” about the changes suffered by the concept of the “house”. Written by authors with a strong connection to the city and its architecture – Filipa Leal, Álvaro Domingues, Jorge Figueira, André Tavares, Pedro Bandeira and Nuno Grande -, the six missives were coffered and cut in low relief, based on a distribution proposed by the group of architects Pedra Líquida – authors of the project – and imagined graphically by the creative of R2 Design.
This solution, which marks the difference of personality of each space, was already highlighted among the 2011 SEGD Design Awards, and also received the Golden Award of the European Design Awards, in the “Signs & Displays” category.
The Casa do Conto bets on an innovative hotel concept – arts & residence -, offering a personalized style of residence and directed to guests who wish to ally their rest to enjoy the cultural offer of Porto, or who want to create, expose or debate the city who visit.
Also for this reason, a regular program of events is planned, in articulation with different creators, curators, groups and cultural institutions of the city. For the opening period, Casa do Conto has established a partnership with the bookstore/gallery Inc. books and author editions.
The House thus reappears, again and again, with the same façade and the same iron-fisted door that persists in returning to the city the memories she doesn’t want to forget.
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