residential. Braga, northern Portugal. The brief: to turn two apartments into a single living space. The design, by Italian-Portuguese studio, Correia Ragazzi Arquitectos, won the Best Architects 16 Award in the interior work category. The transformation revolves dynamically around a large white staircase that connects the ground floor, where public and social life roll by, and the upper floor, where the private life of the family is concentrated. The sculptural force of the double ramp dominates the large double height hall without losing its airy lightness. An upstairs, enveloping balcony offers a picturesque view of the room below, with its floor of hydraulic mosaics in a three-dimensional effect pattern. The play of affinities and contrasts - light-coloured walls defined in microcement and panels, doors and cabinets in black Valchromat; homogeneous backgrounds and decorated areas; plasticity and linearity - generates a particular relationship between the different parts of the apartment, distinct but organically connected: the ground floor, kitchen, laundry room, living room and guest bathroom; the first floor, with its rough-finish parquet flooring throughout, the parents’ room and two rooms for the children, each with its own bathroom. In the master suite the space, including a multi-functional area for study or physical exercise, flows naturally into the bathroom, where the service area contrasts sharply with the zone for bathing and showering: a white box that seems defined by the light. Essential, almost abstract, the room contains the Spoon XL bathtub, designed by Benedini Associati for Agape and made in white Cristalplant® biobased. Its depth and iconic design confirm its worthy role as centrepiece.
Approach Correia/Ragazzi Arquitectos pursues quality through its project's innovation and rigor, believing that architecture is a process of synthesis. An extraordinary process that ends in a material good, which embodies different factors, material and immaterial, such as the interpretation of a site, the identification of a scale problem, or the intervention of materials as their plasticity has great importance in our work.