The collection of historical buildings was first lovingly restored by architect Frederico Valsassina and is situated in a prime position with views across the Douro River, which runs through the city of Porto. One of the key objectives of the renovation, which has steadily been taking place over the last three years, has been the conservation of hundreds of years of history and the preservation of the crafts and traditions embedded within the architecture of the building.
The Largo’s interiors have been conceived by Space Copenhagen founders Peter Bundgaard Rützou and Signe Bindslev Henriksento to inspire connection; between guests, hosts, the Portuguese community and the space itself. Soft, slightly nostalgic yet timeless, the interiors are orchestrated by a modern design perspective with an overarching sense of slow design and travel.
“For The Largo, we have applied a refined, historically detailed design language that celebrates modernity combined with a sense of an aesthetic slowness in celebration of the city, its legacy and the local traditions of Porto”, explains Peter Bundgaard Rützou. This play, at the intersection of tradition and modernity with attention to detail and authenticity, is executed through thoughtful elements of craft, materiality, texture and art. “The materials used throughout are local, subdued, warm, intimate, tactile, and natural. Where possible we have collaborated with local artisans to create an experience, an environment that is elegant, distinctly discreet, sensuous and comfortable.” As a result, you will find stone, wood, brass, and soft fabrics recurring consistently throughout the design.
The suites at The Largo are all generously proportioned with thoughtfully considered layouts that consequently encourage a longer stay at a slower pace. All rooms mimic the intimacy of an apartment living room and private quarters. The beds are the centrepiece of the room and are framed by a Renaissance feature of elaborate headboards reinterpreted in a modern way to pay respect to its origin. Ceilings bear the same level of diluted ornamentation bringing the historic context of the buildings into a new and repurposed setting. Paying homage to local craft and tradition each element has been carefully and exclusively designed for The Largo and executed by Portuguese artisans. The millwork, stone and metalwork throughout were carefully created by local artisans, as well as tiling sourced from local tile manufacturers. The wooden flooring, granite portal, entry passage and plastered walls in subdued colour tones further enhance the slow and warm pace, while the ornate ceilings have been preserved with the historical building’s original design.
The bathrooms feature large tile stone flooring and bathtubs carved as a singular piece in local Portuguese stone. Each room includes a lounge and table settings that facilitate the experience of luxury in-room dining. The penthouses and townhouses have their own kitchens, and all suites have extensive pantry storage and wine fridges to welcome a longer stay.
The lounge, where guests are greeted at ground level, has a secluded feel. Located towards the back of the building, there is an opportunity to interact and engage, dwell or listen to an intimate performance or talk. Guests can also enjoy the outside courtyard, which is impressively suspended between the building and rock, at five stories deep.
Adjoining The Largo are sister projects Cozinha das Flores and Flôr, a restaurant and a bar, both also under the direction of Nuno Mendes. The restaurant, Cozinha das Flores, celebrates the food, culture, wines, techniques and ingredients of Porto and the surrounding region. The adjacent twelve-seat bar, Flôr, has fast become a cornerstone of the local neighbourhood.
Speaking further on the design, Peter Bundgaard Rützou says “Our wish has been to create a soft and charming oasis in the heart of Porto – a place and destination where you can feel at home, sense the honest and genuine atmosphere of the historic buildings and neighbourhood…A place of discovery, and a place to recharge for new adventures in the beautiful city and surrounding nature.” A beautiful fusion between old and new, The Largo invites visitors to embark on a journey of both inner and outer exploration, weaving together the tapestry of Porto’s rich history, culture, and natural beauty.