Communal washing places have long been social spaces and with a lounge area and vending machine, this 21st century laundrette offers visitors the chance to linger while they clean up.
Working with architects Ulisses Costa, the design studio developed a project that bridges the duality between traditional and modern.
The purpose was to create a fresh and innovative environment, reflecting the evolution of a society that seeks practical solutions for the management of its day to day chores, while bringing back the memory of the work of traditional community washers.
The space that comes out of the merger of two stores in Amarante, Portugal, into a 200 sq m area is divided into a self-service area and a specialised service area for garment repairs, dry cleaning and ironing.
The two areas are intersected by a gridded metal gate that reflects the shape of the ceramic tiling.
These green ceramics from the Urban Atelier by ALELUIA CERÂMICAS were chosen as an allusion to the ceramic used in the olden day wash houses and provide a fresh, clean feel. Waterproof micro-cement poured over the flooring is easy to maintain and suitable for high traffic.
Suspended greenery spills from the ceiling and under the plants we find a white marble worktable. This material was chosen to echo the blocks of stone in traditional wash houses, where people would slap and beat wet clothes to release the dirt.
No such effort here, as under the gentle beams of Flos’ Glo-Ball lamps by Jasper Morrison, customers are invited to relax.