Hotel in Former Monastery of Santa Maria do Bouro in Braga, Portugal

Foto: Frank Kaltenbach

Set on a wooded hill, this complex, comprising a church and the remains of monastic buildings dating from the 16th–18th centuries, was to be converted into a state-run hotel. The architects recognized the potential of the picturesque ruins and converted them to a new use. The layout was simplified, and new facilities were added, such as terraces and a swimming pool. Although a reconstruction of the original form was not proposed, some façades were preserved, partly unsupported, while others were extended and fitted with simple new windows. These measures accentuated the fragmentary nature of the ensemble. Instead of reinstating the former pitched roofs, which had all but collapsed, new flat roofs were constructed. The restrained use of new materials, such as metal sections to windows and doors, sensitively complements the historic parts of the complex. Some of the rooms were fitted out with coffered ceilings in oxidized steel.
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