When an 18th century Portuguese chapel was reopened as an art gallery, the owners and R2 Design (Porto, Portugal) used its façade as the canvas for an artful typographic composition that recalls the building’s former use, but creates a new cultural venue.
With a tight budget and only two months to bring the project to fruition, R2 Design needed to draw visitors’ attention to the gallery, located down a small alleyway adjacent to several important historical buildings in Lisbon. They started by painting the yellow façade white and using it as the slate for idiomatic expressions that refer to God and that by force of repetition have crystallized in the Portuguese language.
The words were rendered at various depths and scales in Knockout type, chosen because it is a sans serif typeface that offers a wide range of sizes and expressions. The letters were built from Intasa MDF hydrofuge sheets, an environmentally friendly product recommended for moist environments. A thick paint made it possible to simulate the texture of the façade.
“Very beautiful treatment of a unique idea, in itself an exhibition of language, which is at once modern and exciting, yet respectful of its neighborhood and tradition.”
Lizá Ramalho, Artur Rebelo (principals in charge/designers)
Pedrita (construction), Pavilhão 3 (installation), Hoefler & Frere-Jones (typeface)