Renowned Portuguese architect Álvaro Siza has fully renovated the Boa Nova Tea House in Matosinhos, Portugal, one of his earliest commissions (1963).
The refurbished building will open as a restaurant, and outside mealtimes it will be possible to visit with guided tours by the Association Casa da Arquitectura.
“One of Siza’s first built projects, it is significant that the restaurant is not far from the town of Matosinhos where the architect grew up, and set in a landscape that he was intimately familiar with.” says Álvaro Siza.
“It was still possible in Portugal of the 1960s to make architecture by working in close contact with the site, and this work, much like the Leça Swimming Pools of 1966, is about ‘building the landscape’ of this marginal zone on the Atlantic – through a careful analysis of the weather and tides, existing plant life and rock formations, and the relationship to the avenue and city behind.”
“The restaurant’s west-facing dining room and tea room are set just above the rocks, and joined by a double-height atrium and stair, with the entrance being on a higher level. The kitchen, storage and employee areas are half-sunken in the back of the building, marked only by a narrow window and a mast-like chimney clad in colored tiles.”
“Forming a butterfly in plan, the two primary spaces open gently around the sea cove, their exterior walls following the natural topography of the site. The tea room has large windows above an exposed concrete base, while the dining room is fully glassed, leading to an outdoor plateau.”
“In both rooms, the window frames can slide down beneath the floor, leaving the long projecting roof eaves in continuum with the ceiling. This creates an amazing effect in the summer, when it is possible to walk out from the dining room directly to the sea, as the building seems to disappear.”