Tasked with creating a flagship space for the venerable Portuguese brand, João Mendes Ribeiro architects sought to complement, not distract, from Claus Porto’s already strong, recognizable visual identity. “It should be an inclusive, elegant and cosmopolitan place, but also a place with a strong sensory appeal,” said the firm.
To that end, the Portuguese firm made small moves with high impact. Before Claus Porto took over the shop on Rua da Misericórdia in downtown Lisbon, a pharmacy operated from the space, leaving behind wood display cabinets that wrap the room and a plaster ceiling adorned with intricate geometrical motifs. João Mendes Ribeiro retained those features and enriched the room with one, bold intervention: a polished brass cube in the centre, containing hidden drawers and providing counter space for transactions. Inside the glassed-in cabinets, Claus Porto products, in signature colourful packaging, are arranged in small groupings.
The 85-square-metre space is a unique one, comprised of a second room at a different height, with its own entrance onto Rua das Gáveas, in the cultural district of Bairro Alto. Here, the aesthetic takes on a decidedly more contemporary vibe.
Connected to the first room by a marble staircase, the lower-level space has a different function, serving as a barber shop, lounge area and appointment space for custom scent counselling. Like the room above, woodwork and brass details are the defining features here; below a thin brass inlay that encircles the room, a series of archive cabinets provides flexible storage space. In the lounge, artist Joana Astolfi has created a conceptual work that features what appears to be a growth of moss emerging from a horizontal crack in the wall. The cabinetry opens up to reveal a collection of records, liquors and even a small sink.
Across the room, traditional leather barber chairs await clients. Claus Porto barbery products are displayed by colour and within cabinet drawers with engraved brass tabs. The cabinetry conceals a hidden door, which swings open into a washroom.