Santa Catarina Apartments

Best Implemented Reconstruction Project

About the project
In Porto city centre, a 20th-century single-family house with 2 floors is transformed in 1994 into Porto's civil court with a 3-story zinc addition on the roof. The main challenge was to convert it back to the original use, keeping the existing central vertical structure, dividing each floor into 4 parts, creating 16 flats, a commercial space on the ground floor, linked to a shared patio.
From the memory of the original construction, the design of the house typologies recall the bourgeois house: a house with no corridors, where there is a succession of liveable spaces, fulfilling the condition of a changeable area that adapts to the wishes of those who inhabit them.
The street facade was restored, preserving stonework, and adding new tiles, while upper floors reinstated the original 9-bay metric. In the rear, a structure supports balconies, creating a captivating interplay of opposing planes.
The project was able to respect cultural heritage values while embracing contemporary living.

Rua de Santa Catarina, nº 1299, Porto, Portugal

Project implementation year

MASSLAB is a laboratory of ideas working in the fields of architecture, urban design and landscaping, founded in 2016 in Porto by Duarte Fontes, Diogo Rocha and Lourenço Rodrigues. From small to large scale, we imagine and design spaces that translate into a better life. Through a focused approach between planet and people, we seek to build the conditions for the future because changing the way people live will always change the world.

Author of the project
Diogo Sousa Rocha, Lourenço Menezes Rodrigues and Duarte Ramalho Fontes

Status of the project