Framed by the Alfama Hill to the North and the Tagus River to the South, the Campo das Cebolas building has the distinction of being the former palace and property of the Francisco de Assis. It is possible to clearly identify the distinct phases of its construction and those spaces which belonged to the original building and survived the earthquake of 1755: the façade and main staircase, as well as a large part of the ground floor, including its stone arches and cross vaults.
The programme was to adapt the existing building to new standards of comfort and to amend the interior geometry for residential occupation. Almost no intervention was undertaken on the ground level, which retains traces of the original project, thus maintaining its original commercial and service functions. The balcony and first floor were converted into an autonomous accommodation unit with four small flats with a private entrance, avoiding interference with the daily use of the other long-term residential units. With access via the lift and main staircase, which is to be maintained and recovered, thirteen larger apartments were designed, benefiting from a common interior patio. From this group, we highlight five south-facing T3 units and two duplex apartments that make use of the attic space. This new floor is made more pleasant through the addition of dormers and small terraces, thus creating a more interesting spatial layout and making the most of available views.
The great inspiration for this project was found in the value of the historical heritage to be rehabilitated. The great challenge was to adapt the old palace to a new use and with the number of accommodation units required while respecting the existing heritage and giving it back to the city.