The store sits in an elegant 1900’s building in the heart of Lisbon. Originally a bakery, it used to occupy the whole ground floor, being later divided into two autonomous commercial spaces: a bread store and a café/grocery, being this later subject to the current intervention.
The space was long, dark and relatively short in terms of height, not taking advantage of the sensed existing high volume. Apart from an imposing metal column, the space did not present any remarkable feature.
Dropped ceilings were removed and while searching for the possible existing stone pavement, surveys were undertaken, proving that not only it existed as well as it was intact.
A large wood bench, with its round shape, embraces us upon arrival, highlighting the large room and providing the transition between café, services and store. The white marble top, of both counter and bench, brings harmony, unifying all different areas. The mirrors enlarge the room, bringing the street into the café.
As a former resident of the building wrote:
You open onto the mystery of a street continually crossed by people
A street inaccessible to any thought
Real, impossibly real, certain, unknowingly certain1
1 Álvaro de Campos - Tabacaria