Lodging | Gonçalo Queirós Carvalho Arquitecto
A shirt factory gives place to surprising new concepts of design and architecture
In Porto, in the north of Portugal, was developed an alternative experience of accommodation – ZERO BOX LODGE – created not to be a hotel or a hostel, but rather a new type of accommodation where the rooms are wooden compartments created for the guest’s rest.
The building built in 1883, used to house a mythical shirt factory – “Confiança” – place where was shot the first film made in Portugal by Aurélio da Paz dos Reis, in 1896, which depicts the departure of workers from this factory on Rua de Santa Catarina.
The building is characterized by a narrow width of the facade, compared to the depth, and the absence of natural light that arises from this relationship, forced to rethink the way of inhabiting the space. The structure and facade of the building was maintained, with only the complete reformulation of the top floor and roof.
The inspiration for the ZERO Box Lodge comes from the Japanese oriental accommodation models called ‘capsule hotels’ adapted to a western context.
In Japanese models, sleeping is seen only as a pragmatic necessity, spaces are stripped of equipment and the main purpose is to ensure a good time of rest, at any time of the day. Being so, the absence of natural light is seen as a positive factor.
In the western context, the capsules have evolved into larger spaces, with a built-in bathroom, enough for two people, with a guarantee of comfort and privacy. The absence of amenities remains, but with one goal – the creation of common areas of interaction with large dimensions and various services:
On the ground floor, a bar and a restaurant, open to the outside and providing a mix between guests and the local public of Porto. The decoration made with reused furniture aims to make the space comfortable, incorporating contemporary decorative elements such as tile panels hand painted by the artist Paulo Ramuni or the covering of an old safe with a carpet designed by Diogo Muñoz recreating the famous existing tile panels in the churches of the city of Porto; it is also on the entrance floor at ZERO that there is a glass replica of one of the rooms that receives various artistic projects throughout the year.