Created as a “warehouse of experiences”, Armazém Luxury Housing hotel in Porto, Portugal, brings together two very contrasting worlds: on the one hand, the building’s former use as an iron warehouse lends the renovated hotel’s interiors industrial references, while on the other, the necessity for luxurious comfort and hospitality infuse every space with softness and warmth.
Designed by local architecture studio Pedra Líquida, the hotel has been refurbished with an eye constantly on the past, as well as the city’s history.
Situated right in the heart of Porto’s old city, the building is surrounded by an area that is a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site, making ignoring the architecture and colours of the nearby buildings and streets impossible. An iron staircase treated with a rusty finish and large iron letter signage set the tone for the hotel’s character and the “warehouse of experiences” approach, as do the stencilled room numbers and the exposed concrete ceilings on all the floors. Wooden surfaces and furniture were then introduced to balance out the colder, harder materials, and create an interesting contrast between metal and wood that can be seen throughout the building.
Glass walls open onto a central lightwell, which brings natural light all the way down to the ground floor restaurant; here, the traditional stone masonry of the neighbouring building’s wall creates another contrast with the hotel’s contemporary exterior, reminding of the dialogue between old and new seen all around the city. Inside the rooms, soft fabrics and simple furniture pare down the harsh industrial aesthetic to create cosy spaces where every guest can feel at home. Clever design solutions manifest in the form of custom-designed furniture and the use of traditional patterns to add colour and an element of fun; in fact, each of the nine rooms at Armazém Luxury Housing is unique, decorated in a different way and telling a different story — or as the hotel’s team likes to put it, “weaves its own narrative, providing new experiences with each visit.”