It is sometimes difficult to allocate the most suitable function to a building about to be restored. In the case of the old Fábrica das Gaivotas, a factory which began its activity in 1811 making bottles and flasks of all shapes and sizes, particularly for medical and pharmaceutical purposes, the problem of form and function was particularly acute.

The building closed down in the 1980s and fell into disrepair. When it was bought the essential question was “what was to be done with it?” The possibility of a hotel or short term lets was briefly discussed but it was decided, quite unusually, to turn it into a private hall of residence for students, the first to be built in Lisbon’s historic area.

It has 84 bedrooms, 26 of which are twin rooms, communal kitchens, sittings rooms and studies, a reception, back office, gym and laundry. At no time do the building and those who live in it feel the effects of cheap solutions – both materially and in terms of volumetry – that would be required by the ratio of financial sustainability and habitability in a building with the very specific function of being a student residence. The proof, if needed, can be found in the vibrant uses and liveliness provided by the residents, which the quickest visit will verify.

It was decided to preserve the solid brick chimney and the scenic façade, an integral part of the local memory, to ensure the preservation throughout time of an identity that does not always survive this type of intervention.

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2013 - 2016


Lisboa, Portugal


2842 m2


DOORM Portugal


Luís Rebelo de Andrade, Filipe Ferreira, Raquel Jorge, Pedro Duarte Silva, Frederico Oliveira Marques

Structural Project

R5 Engenharia

Infrastructural project

R5 Engenharia


Civilcasa Construções

On-Site Coordination

DSC Consultadoria de Engenharia


FG + SG - Fotografia de Arquitectura


Valério Romão