Saturday, February 23, 2013


Ever wondered where your toilet comes from? Or how that sink is made, above which you brush your teeth every day? Indeed, you kind of take them for granted, but after our visit to the Sanitana factory we can assure you: there is a whole story behind them. The entire process - from the pile of clay up to the shiny, finished sanitary ware - was explained to us while walking through the factory of which the size and scale was impressive. We felt like discovering a metropolis of sanitary ware! Toilets and sinks passing above our heads on a conveyor belt, an oven with the size of a footballfield and endless rows of toilets and sinks being molded/unmolded/finished/...  
We even saw the place where the first samples - the mother of the mother of the molds - were created by hand. How remarkable to see a man sculpturing a toilet! Duchamp would have had a great time :-)

The pile of clay where it all starts

Making the mold

Conveyor belt transporting a variety of sanitary ware from one room to another

Endless rows...

Because of the impressive variety of products the Sanitana catalogue does indeed approach the thicknes of the seventh Harry Potter book and so we had a hard time picking the most beautiful sanitary equipment to use in our building. (luxury problem!)
Enjoy your bathroom!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Full house

Now that we are entering the construction phase of the project (FINALLY!) we need to finalize all the drawings. That's why our partners from Dimscale (Lisbon) came to Porto to sit with us and help us coordinate and check our information. Together with them we went over all the drawings and in the afternoon "same same but different" with the engineers and the architects. With their help we are finishing all the drawings and closing the design project of our building.

As if we didn’t have our hands and studio full already, in the same day, we had the visit of the RTP tv crew, that came to interview our lovely Sarah and our partner Artur about their experience and commitment to the project. So, Wednesday turned out to be a pretty busy day…

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Amor-im your life

Lesson of the day : how to transform cork in flooring and walls.
Better than learning from books, learning from experience. So direction Amorim Revestimentos factory ! Mariana was so kind to show us around. It was very nice to see how they make everything from the grain to the board. Now we have a clear idea of what material is going to be on our floors… cork for sure! They have so many options that we had a hard time choosing the one we wanted when we got back to the studio, but finally we did it.

cork's grain being ready for compression
extra thin layer of cork made by slicing a big block of cork that was made by pressing different corkpieces together. That's what gives this special pattern.
cork panels of different compression modes
stack of panels

a CABA inspiration

Most of the time, people start the day with a caffeine boost. But not us at Arrebita. We need stronger : an inspiration boost ! We started the day by visiting a building which is under refurbishment, conducted by architect Marta Campos.

As soon as we entered the building we could feel the first kick : a beautiful building, full of possibilities, just like Reboleira 42, a treasure which needs to be revealed.

As we approached the first floor, we were completely awake because, right in front of our eyes, here it was : a "service box" grouping kitchen and bathroom supplies, just like our "CABA". The main structure and the different sewages were already done so we could understand better the challenges, and then it started : an explosion of pictures and questions to Marta who was kind enough to explain us all. As we continued the tour : the "service box" popped up in every floor with its own specificities and laying out according to the needs (for example the integration of stairs for the duplex apartment).

We finished the tour by 2 slices of sun in the back yard, and that's how we do it at Arrebita !

Good morning sunshine

 structure service box

integration of sewage and pipes

service box with reservation 

slices of sun

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

So, what is that for?

Since the beginning of Arrebita!Porto, meetings have been a useful routine. Partners, peers and the media have been discussing and getting together with Arrebita! teams for almost a year now, and so they did as well the past week!

Instituto das Artes paid a visit and embarked on a discussion about the social feasibility of Arrebita!
We had the pleasure of meeting the young students, and going-to-be artists, of the Instituto das Artes. This was a good opportunity to be asked sets of questions that spanned from practical use of historical space to social influence and potentials of such a project. An insightful perspective, indeed.

And here is definitively another expert eye on Arrebita!Porto: João Morgado. He's an architecture photographer, experienced and  patient enough to capture both the team at work and the status quo of Reboleira 42 construction site. Thanks for sharing your work with us, as it helps us to see the project from a new point of view.

International team 4 and José, discussing on the project. [© João Morgado - Architecture Photography]

Reboleira 42 project, first floor, status quo. [© João Morgado - Architecture Photography]

Meanwhile, the rest of the week flew by, thanks to the study of the interiors' project. As you know, Arrebita!Porto is designing a service box that will house all services necessary to achieve contemporary living standards in an economical way. 
Two prospective partners came to our studio and wanted to understand a little bit more about how a synergy would be possible. Sanitana, one of the Portuguese leaders on sanitary wear, checked in explaining among things their latest energy-saving techniques applied to water use. 
Amorim Revestimentos came by, as a prospective partner, and gave us an overview of their products.  With them we had an interesting talk about - of course - cork. 
It's amazing how much you can accomplish with this material. 
Besides its acoustic values, we know cork is a typical product of Portugal. It is a fact that  61.3% of its annual world production happens in Portugal. How could we take advantage of this material in the Reboleira project? Can it be used inside the modular service center - also known as "CABA"? We think there is a huge potential.

To sum up, it has been a brainstorming week.

So now it is time for a little chill out activity. Here we go get our train tickets for the Douro Valey, to explore the hills and enjoy carnival!

Talk soon.

Monday, February 11, 2013


Our last week ended with the perfect field trip..
On saturdaymorning we took the train to Tua where awaited us besides hills, olives and some low temperatures, the most warm welcome by José's family. His grandparents were so nice to invite us into their home at Carrazeda de Ansiães to celebrate the Carnival weekend there and we had the most wonderfull time. 

On Sunday even our engineers Rita and Daniel joined us, as did our architect Pilar, to go end get to know a little bit more of Portugese culture by visiting the carnival in tras os montes. The “entrudo chocalheiro” was quite an experience, to say the least… 

Many thanks to everybody who joined us!


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Arrebita! on air

Once a drop reaches water, waves follow in larger and larger circles. 

Arrebita!Porto is nothing but that. At least this seems what the media have been thinking, since the very first stages of the project. Video interviews and promo video are now collected in our Arrebita!Porto YouTube channel

check out Arrebita!Porto videodiaries on our YouTube channel

José has been explaining Arrebita!Porto in a number of venues, like TEDxO'Porto, making interviews and promo videos the core of Arrebita!Porto video channel. 

Talking about expanding waves, the international community is getting more and more interested on the project and the virtuous mechanism framing it. We already had interested journalists contacting Arrebita! from Belgium, France, Germany and Italy. 
A few days ago we actually had one architect of international team 4 interviewed by Radio24, a national Italian broadcast service. Flavio, waking up quite early on a Saturday morning, had an interesting talk with Federico Taddia, host of L'Altra Europa - The Other Europe

Bearing in mind to make Arrebita!Porto accessible on the web, and to spread the message, we thought it was worth it to have English subtitles explaining the audio tracks. Just make sure the "cc" button is selected, and English text will appear. 
Talk to you soon.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Bienvenu dans la CA(s)BA

See here the result of our CABA-concept-workshop! Some interesting ideas popped up. Now:  let’s work it out!

first concept "open and close your main block"

2nd concept "one big cabinet of curiosities"
3rd concept: "put it in a drawer"

4th concept: "organize your space"
5th concept: "A!box"