Hotels can be hand made

With the skill to understand the balance it takes to integrate both contemporary and classic forms, architect Samuel Torres de Carvalho was tasked to create the new project of Principe Real. Known for his spectacular modernism, created a sleek four-story geometric building of stark white, and a long, rectangular silhouette. The Madrid-born Portuguese architect, also responsible for memmo’s previous two projects (memmo Baleeira – 2007 and memmo Alfama – 2013), made his studies in Madrid at the E.T.S. (Madrid’s architecture school). João Corrêa Nunes and Samuel Torres de Carvalho are responsible for the interior design, housing a mix of modern elements using classic materials and details.

As the name would suggest, the Royal Prince plays an omnipresent role at the hotel. Mounted stoically on entrance, ‘The Portrait of the Eternal Royal Prince (D. Pedro V)’ by Carlos Barahona Possollo is a re-interpretation from Winterhalter’s original dated from 1854. The Lisbon-born artists’ works are shown in numerous notable public and private Portuguese collections, with recent notoriety coming from a painting of the previous Portuguese President. He is widely regarded for his exploration of stereotypical gender roles with provocative irony. In this portrait, his modern-day take on the Prince depicts the view from the hotel itself with the presence of modern Lisbon, and instead of the Golden Fleece Order symbol, the prince wears the symbol Memmo Hotels insignia (the chameleon).

Using the old-world technique of plaster ceiling moldings that was seen in the palaces of the 19th century in this area, ceramic artist Iva Viana created a custom piece for memmo Principe Real that hangs behind the reception. A re-imagining of this traditional medium, the panel takes inspiration from the celebrated garden of Príncipe Real and the jasmine flowers that blossom during spring. Founded in Viana do Castelo (northern Portugal) in 2013 as a personal creative space, Viana was driven by the will to explore with absolute freedom and autonomy. ‘’An obsession with ‘handmade’ and the experimentation of traditional hand stucco molding techniques made by the modern processes of casting different materials -- that set up my passion for merging past and future.’’ - Iva Viana

In a 42-series of drawings made for memmo Principe Real by Miguel Branco, an interior of a restaurant is suddenly populated by monkeys that are scattered on the tables. Invading a space of culture and leisure, animals appear as actors of a silent dramaturgy, void of human presence. A large key painting is placed in Café Príncipe Real and 41 smaller paintings (smaller details of the main piece, in continuity with the big one) are placed each room. The images of the 41 drawings that occupy the various hotel bedrooms are fragments of this central scene and form a single piece. Branco has focused his work over the last three decades in the use of models from art history. Such use, which opts for traditions like peinture animalière, the still life, whereby the use of extremely small scale creates strange optical elements.

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