Indagare Insiders: The Women Behind Casa do Passadiço, Lisbon

Casa do Passadiço interiors, the interior architecture firm, was born in 1992, when Catarina Rosas opened her showroom in Braga, Portugal, in an 18th-century manor house and founded the atelier with the same name. Her daughters, Cláudia and Catarina Soares Pereira, soon joined her and the atelier started their work—architecture and interior design in high-end private residences and commercial spaces—mainly in Portugal. Now, the atelier, also in Lisbon, has more than 30 projects underway all over Europe and beyond, from Paris, London, Florence and Milan to Miami and New York to Moscow, Qatar and São Paulo. Here, the design team tells Indagare about where they find design inspiration, plus all of their favorite places to eat, shop and what to see in Lisbon. Contact Indagare to plan your trip to Lisbon with recommendations for where to stay, eat, shop and what to see and do.

How did you decide to open Casa do Passadiço and what are your hopes for the showroom?We always had much work in Lisbon. We felt the need of having a space there to showcase our work and receive our clients. Also, we believed it was a good time to open, as the city is now in a good moment! What is your favorite aspect of living in Lisbon?We don't actually live in Lisbon, as we are based in the north, but Lisbon is a very pleasant city to live in and for a family. It has a wonderful climate all year long; it is in the center of Europe, with good flight connections all over; the food is delicious; the beaches couldn't be better—especially the in Alentejo and the Algarve, less than a two-hour drive south—and it is interesting culturally.Related: Lisbon Shopping GuideWhat are some favorite sights, activities, museums or neighborhoods in Lisbon that you would recommend?Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian—the museum, modern collection and gardens—is an oasis in the center of Lisbon. The permanent collection is a jewel. And Fundação Ricardo do Espírito Santo Silva, the museum of decorative arts—and particularly the workshops, with numerous Portuguese arts and crafts and centuries of tradition: It is a privilege to visit them! Don’t miss the stunning views of Lisbon from the Miradouro das Portas do Sol. Also MAAT, the Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology, located in Belém. You should visit the new building and also the power station that was the museum’s first venue. The exhibitions are always quite interesting and it is worth walking along the Tagus River in that area and seeing some of the landmark monuments and museums in Lisbon: Torre de Belém, Jerónimos Monastery and Centro Cultural de Belém (CCB), with the Berardo collection of modern and contemporary art. Also, in Belém, don’t miss the National Coach Museum with its new building designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Paulo Mendes da Rocha and Museu do Oriente, the museum dedicated to the culture and arts of the Orient. It is focused on everything that emerged from the Portuguese expansion and its presence in the East. Just behind it you will find the studio of Joana Vasconcelos. Joana is the most relevant contemporary Portuguese artist of her generation, and her studio by the water is absolutely worth a visit! If you are brave enough for the queue, you may also buy an original nata (famous Portuguese custard pie) at Pastéis de Belém, in the same location since 1837.

 Why Go Now: Portugal

What should no visitor to Lisbon miss seeing or doing?

There are great contemporary art galleries spread across the city, but I would recommend a walk around the area of Xabregas-Marvila-Beato to visit galleries like Filomena Soares, Francisco Fino or a cultural space called Fábrica do Braço de Prata. It is an emerging area that any curious visitor should definitely include. You may also head to Alvalade and visit the private Foundation Leal Rios and several galleries, namely Vera Cortês and Uma Lulik. Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga, if you want to learn about Portuguese history and its amazing heritage. Portugal has the oldest borders in the world—and we were the ones to create through our discoveries and expansion “the first global village.” Visit this Museum and you will be impressed by its rich content that spreads throughout paintings, porcelain, furniture and jewelry, etc.

 Do you have a favorite shop, restaurant or hotel and if so, why? 

Our shop, Casa do Passadiço Interiors, in Avenida da Liberdade, 166 is our new favorite in Lisbon! We have a good selection of furniture (contemporary furniture and objects, our own designed furniture and also antiques we gather from all over the world.

When it comes to restaurants, in Avenida da Liberdade, we also love JNcquoi Avenida and Jncquoi Asia, and our store is right in between the two! We also recommend:

Bica do Sapato, with good food and views of the River Tagus

Bairro do Avilez, for a Portuguese typical feeling and food

Gambrinus, an old classic, where you eat divinely.

Aqui ha Peixe, for a good fish selection

For fashion:

Stivali, for a very good selection of luxury clothing brands such as Chanel, Fendi, Ellie Saab and Valentino 

Fashion Clinic for a selection of international brands, some more mainstream, some more emerging and contemporary, like Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Isabel Marant, Louboutin and Aquazzura

Isabel Lopes da Silva, for very good selection of jewelry

As for where to stay, we also recommend:

Four Seasons Hotel Ritz, classical with timeless beauty. When it was built, the hotel had commissioned works by all the best Portuguese artists, such as Almada Negreiros, that are still well preserved. Verride Palace is also a good option for a stay stay in Lisbon.

Related: Five to Know: Comporta

Do you have a favorite day trip or weekend trip from Lisbon that you would recommend to a visitor?Comporta is just an hour and a half by car from Lisbon. Favorite spots are Restaurante Sal on the beach in Praia do Pêgo and Cavalariça in Comporta, along with a concept shop, Lavanda, and Aberta Nova beach in Melides. Or do a day trip to Estoril and Cascais, the seaside area near Lisbon, where most of the European royal families lived during World War II. Visit Cidadela de Cascais and enjoy the Casa das Histórias museum, designed by one of the two Portuguese Pritzker prize- winning architects, Souto de Moura, dedicated to the work of Dame Paula Rego. A must-go is Sintra, a wonderful Village, a jewel in terms of architecture and nature very near Lisbon. Can't miss it!Contact Indagare to plan your trip to Lisbon with recommendations for where to stay, eat, shop and what to see and do.

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