Buildings have their own unique life paths just like we humans have our own individual life paths from birth toward death. Houses emerge reflecting the characteristics of the current decade and century and ideally they a live long and colorful life. There are some buildings, however, that encounter tragic moments too and they decline and disappear. And then in the end – just like in the fairy tales – some of them survive and rise up from their ashes thanks to helpful human hands and collective power.
Casa do Conto (House of Tales) in Porto, Portugal has had a very similar life path too. The 19th-century bourgeois home was renovated and converted into a unique hotel three years ago with the supervision of Pedra Líquida architectural studio. Then all of a sudden, right before the hotel’s grand opening day in March 2009 the building had suffered a fatal fire. Only pain and questions remained. Nevertheless, the owners and architects did not give up their dreams and offered the Casa do Conto a new chance for an elegant life.
Today, Casa do Conto provides something extraordinary and embodies a new concept in the hotel industry: arts + residence. Stylish holiday break with plenty of cultural possibilities are offered to those guests who decide to take some rest among these walls. The striking designer hotel stands in Rua da Boavista in the trendy Cedofeita area in central Oporto.
Social areas of the house such as reception, lounge, dining room and garden can be found on the ground floor. The other three floors have two unique suites per floor. Every hotel room has a different atmosphere and decoration. The rare design items, carefully selected colors, vintage and modern furnitures manage to soften the dominant, grey concrete – and sometimes industrial – setting.
There is something else why the Casa do Conto is one of a kind. The carvings on the ceilings tell various stories and tales about the city and building. These narrations give a personality to each room and that is where the name derives from: ‘House of Tales’.
Another amazing house has risen up from its ashes – just like the legendary phoenix. We would like to think that good architecture can be immortal.