The repurposed building is located in the historic centre of the city of Coimbra. Its three facades define part of a city block inserted in a dense urban fabric, characterised by narrow cobbled streets and small town squares.
The plan for the building was to convert it into a performance venue and a bar.
The project was conceived to achieve the restoration of the building while keeping its original character, keeping to a minimum the introduction of new elements: the door at the bottom of the stairs, the ticket booth, the curtain separating the foyer and the main room, the bar counter and the stage curtain.
The new performance area has been painted in black, in reference to the “black-box” performance spaces of the sixties and seventies. Unlike what is typical for this type of space, here the large windows to the outside are acknowledged, with plain views of the the two small squares adjacent to the building and the associated street lighting. In the adjacent spaces – the stairwell and the foyer – wood and the colour white set a contrasting tone.
The various uses of the space (stage, performance space, bar) are characterised and defined by a new set of lighting fixtures that can be configured in a multitude of ways. The definition of the space is further reinforced by the furniture.
All the floors have been kept in their original condition, bearing the mark of time.