Manchester Building is a minimal architecture project located in Lisbon, Portugal, designed by RAR.STUDIO. This 20th century building is located in the Lisbon neighbourhood of Anjos. It had been in a state of imminent ruin, although 3 of its 10 apartments were inhabited. The rehabilitation operation was structural and transversal – with the necessary reinforcements from a structural point of view, all kinds of new infrastructures and systems to improve the energy performance and comfort of the apartments.

The main façade and the stairwell were restored, with a redesign of the entrance hall, the circulation areas in the basement floor and the patio, and the roof was reconstructed. An elevator was installed towards the rear of the building, the metallic structure of the balconies was extended leading to an increase of the private outdoor area, a new entrance to the apartments and access to the patio. All the apartments underwent the same spatial alterations, despite having been personalized according to the wishes of each of their new owners.

Although this is clearly and unmistakably a rehabilitation, the dimensions of the restoration, but also the idea of reconstitution – of certain constructive and decorative elements, and of a particular type of architecture – are recognizable, in an intermingling of the new and old that is not always distinguishable.

Photography by Francisco Nogueira

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