The building of the centenary Associação dos Albergues Nocturnos do Porto is located in Rua Mártires da Liberdade, in the centre of Porto. The building, despite not being classified, brings together numerous architectural values, linked to its urban integration, construction system, interior spatiality, the quality of its decorative elements and, naturally, the value of the use to which it is put.
The preliminary programme assumed that the operation of this first-line social equipment for the homeless of the city would be maintained, seeking above all to improve reception conditions and slightly increase its capacity (from 60 to 75 users).
Based on the diagnosis and preliminary programme, the project sought to correct the functional problems caused by inappropriate interventions over time; to improve the comfort levels of users (seeking the best possible use of the available space); and to resolve the pathologies diagnosed and their causes.
Taking into account the values identified, a low intrusive intervention was proposed so as to guarantee the preservation of the existing structures in a good state of conservation, thus making it possible to speed up the rehabilitation operation and to contain the costs involved.
A central aspect of the project was the relocation of the sanitary installations and infrastructures to the central area of the building (near the stairwell), freeing up the façades entirely for spaces with uses that depend on natural lighting – allowing natural ventilation in a simpler way.