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Rundown garret becomes a tiny penthouse perching over Lisbon

João Gameiro took a dark, rundown flat in an early 19th century Lisbon building and used traditional craftsmanship to open it up to the light and views of the city. On a hill in the Lapa neighborhood, the apartment had been neglected and needed work, but Gameiro unearthed an unused terrace and crafted large, arched windows and continuous indoor/outdoor flooring to bring the outside in.

Inspired by the Mediterranean tradition of laying leftover marble to pave backyards and terraces, Gameiro created a “Terraco” floor using marble offcuts that creates a continuous space spanning the terrace, the living room/kitchen and the bathroom.

On his first visit to the space, Gameiro noticed what looked like a portion of fresco hidden behind paint. After purchasing the property, he uncovered multiple 200-year-old frescos (dating back to the buildings’ construction in 1819). He also left exposed the original ceiling beams and one wall of the “Pombalino” period cage-style wood framing.

Since the flat is at the top floor of a five-story building with only a narrow staircase, the bed was designed in five parts which were carried up and assembled in place. Since the bed occupies the entire second bedroom, Gameiro designed a wooden walkway that flips down from the side of the bed when one wants to access the balcony.