The history of the Refugium, located on the seafront of Costa da Caparica 15 minutes from Lisbon, dates back to the early 90's. It was originally the holiday home of the Coelho family, recently acquired to be able to share memories with friends and guests. The simplicity of the 18th century fishermen's houses was the basis for this renovation, which resulted in a pure and minimalist architecture, in order to guarantee a serene and comfortable space.
The project takes what it finds and gives it a new life, reusing as many existing elements as possible. The original kitchen and bathroom, which did not match with the new project concept, were removed to be reused and donated to needy families. Despite the renovation, the features are original and the space consists of 2 bedrooms with a shared bathroom, a kitchen and a living area that opens onto the beach. Microlime, based on lime and non-toxic natural additives, was chosen as the dominant element to ensure the homogenization of the entire space. Rather than being demolished, the floor is covered with this sandy and pigmented material, reinforcing a strong relationship with the site and eliminating the negative environmental impact of the renovation. The sustainable and ecological principles of the intervention also extended to the decoration, where an extreme effort was made to collaborate with local craftsmen, as well as with other nationally produced pieces. The wood chosen was the national pine and the main principles of the intervention came out valued, as the social impact, innovation and sustainability.
The refugium is a project that looks outwards, that introduces the coastal environment in which it is inserted, although it maintains an inner world of intimacy and family relationships. The balance between the new and the existing ends up ensuring a more honest and genuine result.