PROMONTORIO has won the competition to design the egyptian ambassador residence in lisbon’s affluent district of restelo, on a plot in avenida das descobertas. located nearby the new embassy of egypt (see previous coverage here), the building is designed as a monolithic volume wrapped in a fluted, precast concrete façade. following a classical composition system, these flutes are interrupted at specific positions to form windows, or release their edges to become columns that form pergolas and balconies.all images courtesy of PROMONTORIO
the egyptian ambassador residence is located in avenida das descobertas, a wide avenue that is typologically characterized by a string of large, stand-alone villas many of which are occupied by diplomatic representatives. following these precepts, PROMONTORIO developed the building as a kind of palladian villa; a semi-symmetrical front-facing structure that evokes both cairo’s heliopolis district, with its art deco and modernist villas, as well as lisbon’s own portuguese ‘suave’ modernism. ‘in fact, the compactness yielding from the municipality’s regulatory constraints, was ultimately an interesting point of departure for the concept, by generating an essentially monolithic volume vertically counterpoised from the outside by a series of fluted panels,’ explains the studio.
in order to preserve the ambassador’s privacy and protocol principles, particular attention was paid to the building’s circulation strategy and visitors’ ins-and-outs. ‘clearness of public and staff/service circuits as well as full, visibility of visitors’ access, is a critical security issue at the core of the residence’s concept design,’ adds PROMONTORIO. the residence building is positioned as a large villa in the center of the plot, and is accessed by a generous ramp from the security gateway at avenida das descobertas at its middle level. at the same time, an extensive upper lawn flanked by soaring trees ensures enough privacy on the south side.
the residence comprises four floors and four different operational units: garage & staff, official rooms, private residence and guest suites. currently, the façade is proposed in elements of precast concrete bas-relief with window frames in bronze aluminium. inside, the floors of the key official rooms are finished in solid oak boarding in a herringbone pattern, evocative of the floor marqueterie of the 19th-century villas. drawing from portaluppi’s villa necchi, PROMONTORIO has devised a winter garden in the library/study by creating a double window casing with an interstice wide enough to have flower pots. this space can function as a conservatory room and an everyday workplace for the ambassador. the project is expected to be completed in 2023.