Silent Living hotelier and founder João Rodrigues engaged architect and good friend Manuel Aires Mateus to restore an ancient Lisbon building and instil the values of slow living. Redefining traditional notions of hospitality, João and his family have made the building their permanent home while guests come and go, taking a piece of Santa Clara 1728 with them. “We welcome guests as part of our family or as longtime friends,” João says, “in the hopes that they become inspired to integrate small rituals into their lives that they shared during their stay.” In this film, João delves deeper into the concept of rituals and how we can utilise our spaces to enact positive change in our daily routines.

Santa Clara is housed within an 18th-century building in what João regards as one of the most romantic squares in Lisbon. João was determined to honour the building’s rich heritage while establishing a strong contemporary connection, which Manuel is renowned for in his work. The architect took great care balancing the past and present and ensuring the design reflected Portuguese life and culture. 

“We have several rules surrounding Silent Living projects, one being that we only build with local materials,” João says. Manuel embraced these values and chose materials reminiscent of ancient Lisbon buildings, including ‘Lioz’ limestone, pine wood floors and handmade tiles. The seamless integration of these materials creates a soothing atmosphere where one can find stillness away from the city bustle. “Being here is a journey through the elements and a delight for the senses,” João says.

Furniture and art were thoughtfully selected to promote this feeling of calm. Upon entering the building, guests are greeted by a Living Divani Extrasoft sofa, a Davide Groppi Moon pendant and an antique gold-framed painting, which beautifully complement the original architecture.

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Exclusive Film | Santa Clara 1728 by Aires Mateus Architects
Living Divani Extrasoft Sofa

The Living Divani Extrasoft sofa, Davide Groppi Moon pendant and an antique gold-framed painting beautifully complement the original architecture.

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“We felt that it was important for guests to experience the fullness of Portuguese life,” João says. With this came the aim to inspire people to incorporate mindfulness practices into their daily routines. “It could be as simple as opening up the windows and letting the fresh air in or relaxing in the evening and counting the stars before they go to bed. Through these small rituals, we try to slow down people’s pace so that when they leave, there’s a little seed of Silent Living in their lives and their future.”

Family is also a huge part of Portuguese life, which João wanted guests to experience in the most authentic way possible. When you stay at Santa Clara, you gather for meals in the grand dining room, which can seat up to 20 guests. “Guests from around the world come together like a family to share the pulse, beauty and charm of life in Lisbon,” João says.

Santa Clara 1728 comprises two different suites; the ‘Santa Clara’ suite can accommodate up to two adults and two children, while the ‘Tejo’ suite is designed for two adults. Both enjoy spectacular views of the city and river.

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Exclusive Film | Santa Clara 1728 by Aires Mateus Architects
Davide Groppi Moon

Guests gather for meals in the grand dining space, which features a custom oak long table, Carl Hansen + Son dining chairs and the Davide Groppi Simbiosi pendant light.

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Manuel chose materials reminiscent of ancient Lisbon buildings, including ‘Lioz’ limestone, pine wood floors and handmade tiles. This space features the Carl Hansen + Son CH25 chair.

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Exclusive Film | Santa Clara 1728 by Aires Mateus Architects
Carl Hansen + Son CH25 Chair

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The bedroom features the Davide Groppi Mira R wall light.

Guests from around the world come together like family to share the pulse, beauty and charm of life in Lisbon.”

 

Silent Living founder João Rodrigues

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Santa Clara is housed within an 18th-century building in the heart of Lisbon.

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