In the historic center of Tavira, near the Gilão River, a 19th-century building now encloses a light-filled, comfortable residence with clean lines and an airy open plan in which bulthaup shapes the heart of the home. Yet, at the same time, the walls still resonate with times past. The poet and journalist Isodoro Manuel Pires, born just before the 20th century, spent many years in the townhouse the ground floor of which was occupied by the print shop of the Povo Algarvio newspaper, which Pires co-owned with his brother. But the scent of ink vanished decades ago, and silence replaced the clatter of the linotype machine. The building stood quietly awaiting a new life.
Spaces with resonance
Spaces with resonance
There are spaces whose resonance conveys a unique intensity, and when the couple that now inhabits this home came across the property, what had begun with a growing fascination with Tavira became the firm determination to restore the old townhouse and turn it into their permanent residence. Next, after having called a phone number jotted down by chance during a stroll past a nearby construction site, the resonances grew further still: the owner's affinity with architect Ambra Zotti, from Superflashstudio, allowed them to advance together in the meticulous process of preparation, from conceiving the new interiors to adapting the project to the requirements of a landmark building protected for its high architectural value.
The façades were restored, the windows were replicated following the original carpentry work, and, as a nod to the past, the plaque with the newspaper's logo remained featured on the site of its former headquarters.
An interior that takes in the light
From the main entrance on the ground floor, in the shadows, the original stone staircase rises to the landing on the middle floor, which is flooded with natural light. This is where the new clean-lined, open staircase begins, leading to the top floor. From the top level, lit by a huge skylight, the railing at the edge of the mezzanine overlooks the double-height area of the living, dining, and kitchen space.
A gathering place: the bulthaup kitchen
This split-level space is the central hub of this luminous home. Natural light pours down onto the living room area. But the open-plan space, with its hydraulic cement floor tiling in warm orange hues that recreate traditional Algarve patterns, reaches all the way to the bulthaup kitchen. There, by the staircase, we find a cozier corner, a place to sit and chat, cook, or watch life go by through the thick wood-framed windows.
The space available for the kitchen was limited, but the solution proposed by the team at bulthaup Citrina, Tavira, in collaboration with Superflashstudio, concentrates all the essentials –cooking, washing, appliances– in one full-height line of cabinets in which the platinum grey surfaces stand out against the counterpoint of the wall panel in the niche and the outer frames, in a darker flint grey that provides depth to the ensemble.
To the right, an island in front of the glass wall by the stairwell offers an additional work and storage area, delimiting the kitchen space. In the center, a solid wood table is the gathering point for the family and friends with whom they share dinners, lunches, memories, plans, calm and joyful moments. Life is brighter now.