The building located at number 223 Rua da Junqueira is yet another example of Lisbon’s architectural diversity. The original azulejos of the main façade, in hues ranging from brown to ochre, were very dilapidated, and were replaced with pistachio green azulejos.
As the building is on the corner of Rua da Junqueira with a narrow street, the side façade was covered with a reproduction of a drawing by Luís Rebelo de Andrade, in the hopes that the signature presence would deter those who seek to leave their mark on other people’s walls.
Although the result of the choices for the façades is indeed as sober as it is elegant, the most precious architectural features can be found inside. The arches, the carved plasterwork ceilings, the skylight and the frescoes were restored and live harmoniously with the contemporary language punctuating the rest of the building.
The enduring sensation is that of a space that having received an infusion of the present does not cease to respect and admire its genealogy. And as architecture is itself a window to a way of life that no longer exists, we should note the strange fact that the sitting rooms faced north, with their backs to the river.
One might say it was a minor detail. But that is for those who have only a residual memory of the river and the violence of which it is capable. For many generations after the 1755 earthquake the river meant nothing but trade and death. Some habits are hard to break. But now, the rooms are in their right place.