L&L Luce & Light illuminates the luxury hotel built in Lisbon, in the Santa Apolónia railway station, the oldest in Portugal
On the western tip of the Iberian Peninsula lies Lisbon, in a medley of pastel-coloured houses and vintage trams. Portugal’s eclectic capital is a vibrant city that boasts picturesque neighbourhoods and unparalleled cultural activity. Lisbon defies definition: its many-faceted history abounds with stories of Phoenician and then Arab civilisations, crusaders, kings and explorers. Today, it is also home to a new five-star hotel that pays homage to Portugal’s railway past: the Editory Riverside Hotel.
Housed in the Santa Apolónia railway station, it is refined and understated, an elegant haven for travellers, designed for citizens of the world. Santa Apolónia is the country’s oldest railway terminus and a point of reference for millions of people every year. It sits on the estuary of the Tagus river, the longest waterway in Iberia. The work of Saraiva + Associados architectural practice, the project for the hotel aimed to recover a part of the station building that was no longer needed for rail transport services and stood unused. The historical heritage of that part of the city has become central to the new hotel. This can be seen in the way the building’s rigid, geometric Neoclassical lines have been preserved, and in the burgundy colour of the facade. The colour contrasts with the estuary waters and emphasises the building’s architecture.
The project’s main objective was to honour the essence of the original structure’s functionality, both externally and internally, while also following the new design concept, which sees the station as a point of departure and arrival, and a setting for events marking and reflecting the life of the Portuguese people at various points of Lisbon’s history. The spirit of travel is everywhere in Riverside, not only in its exterior aesthetics but also throughout its interiors, from the bedrooms and corridors to the dining areas and meeting rooms.
The lighting design, developed by Astratec lighting consultants, called for the use of L&L Luce&Light products to illuminate all the external facades on three sides of the complex, starting with the main elevation where the entrance is located. Multi-award-winning INTONO 2.1 wall-mounted fixtures, 3000K, with 11° optics and white body, are positioned on the pilaster strips on the building’s two floors, while SPOT 1.0 outdoor LED projectors, 3000K, with 10° optics, enhance the balconied first floor windows and the two sides of the tympanum. LYSS MINI 1.0 projectors, 3000K, 3W, 9°x160°, coloured white and installed using the base for corners, are placed in the bottom right-hand corners of the frames of all the windows in the building’s side wings. Other LYSS 1.0 projectors, 2700K 20°x180°, grey, are positioned, beams directed downwards, on the two arches on the ground floor.
Photo by Nicole Sánchez