Architecture & History

Porto reborn. The old meets the new.

“For years, Porto’s motto was, in essence, “You’ve tried the wine; now try the city!” But these days Portugal’s second-largest metropolis — an attractively faded hillside city of venerable town houses and Baroque churches — no longer needs to coast on the reputation of its famous digestif. A jam-packed new night-life district is taking shape, and a blossoming creative scene features everything from an upstart design center to the avant-garde Rem Koolhaas-designed Casa de Música, a stunning concert space. And there’s great news for oenophiles as well. With the Douro region’s emergence as a hotbed of prize-winning red wines — not just port — Porto can now intoxicate you with myriad vintages, new ambitious restaurants and even wine-themed hotels.” (1

“Porto despite being a secular city, now reborns every day, a process that is making it, a more cosmopolitan city, with unique features that invite us to take a look. Restaurants, Art gallerys, Club´s, Cultural events…. The rehabilitation of old buildings, is bringing back the trade, thus occupying some empty shops, which are abandoning the policy of the shopping centers and many are seeking housing in the city center. Much is still to be done, but the process has started. Every few months, something new is created, reinvented …Attracting an increasing number of national and international visitors. This city is like a Port wine to sip and repeat…” (2

The Building

The city of Porto  is marked  mostly  by the  bourgeois houses,  which  were  carried out according to standards of comfort and use of time. “The typical Porto’s bourgeoisie building from the nineteenth century is a building that, in general, presents a high level of decay. The constructive system of the bourgeois houses of Porto, as of the old buildings in general, is the result of an empirical know-how, by using a very narrow set of readily available materials, without being subject to any prior conception of the project. Look at Me building is a typical bourgeois house that was fully restored to create lovely and confortable flats while keeping most of its original structure.

The architect 

Mónica Pacheco

A team of young architects were challenged for this project
Mónica Pacheco was born on August 30, 1990, in Oporto, Portugal. 
She accomplished bachelor’s degree from the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Porto (June 2011), where she is currently doing a master’s degree, which will end in September 2013.
Since she was 12 years old collaborates in photography and design, in a company of her family members in Paredes. 
In the summer of 2010 she was selected to participate in the European Architecture Students Assembly, held in Manchester,where she developed techniques of architectural photography and videos at an international workshop. Her presence at this event remained in two consecutive years (Cádiz, Spain, in 2011 and Helsinki, Finland, 2012), being selected after Manchester to represent Portugal at the event, as National Contact.
She participated in this event with a project that consisted of a box containing all the essentials for a dwelling – Dot concept. Later this project was developed, adapted and implemented at Look at Me Building.
The Dot concentrates the kitchen, bed and wc in way that is pratical, less space consuming and takes better advantage of the light in buildings like the bourgeois houses in Porto.
The project was completed in June 2013, with the collaboration of a team of young architects: Andreia Costa, Bruna Melo, Claudia Fialho, Inês Carvalho, Inês Figueiredo and Pedro Oliveira. In the academic year 2012/2013 she studied abroad in Gdansk, Poland. Over the years of her formation, she had part-time jobs that helped her to become possible to visit about 19 countries in Europe, and to learn and improve English, Spanish and Mandarin.

Upcycling has a trend

I used to be an old building in Porto!! Now,Look at Me

Upcycling has a new trendThe concept of reinventing the old creating new things – upcycling – is the soul of this project and is present in every detail, from the building itself to the decoration. Besides being better for environment, upcycling is a way of adding of charisma and charm to a space. Adding to this, we kept the garden public as a space to relax or take a little sun.