nicolau architecture



The rehabilitation and transformation of a residential building built in the 19th century in order to adapt it to the social uses of the 21st century produced, as a sort of by-product, a surplus of pine wood doors whose practical need had ceased. Small interior rooms and alcoves were eliminated to leave larger spaces, leaving their corresponding doors with nothing to close.

One need only look at the typical contents of any construction container parked on the roadway to see that these situations, common in all renovation projects, are usually resolved by condemning the doors to become scrap material.

But a building is more than a material construction. For its inhabitants, who have cared for its rooms for more than a century, the building constitutes the landscape of their emotions. Since 1880, several generations have attached their memories to its walls and also to these doors.

The opportunity therefore arose to reuse this ‘obsolete’ material as a vehicle for preserving the building’s memory. The doors that once discreetly accompanied the day-to-day life of the former inhabitants are now perched on the walls of the renovated building, claiming their rights as founding members of the original construction. Porta Aperta is a plastic work that celebrates the memory of the past and welcomes the new inhabitants of the building.


Alberto Nicolau

Material execution:

José Carlos Nicolau