Alcaide Mor House – Suites and Villas


2017 – in project


Portugal, Estremoz




At the outset, this was the Mayor’s House. Then, options and possibilities were widened and the project grew to occupy the entire city block. That which had started as a re-construction, became the re-configuration of a considerable and very important part of the old city.

That which existed and that which had previously existed were studied. Topographies, typologies and morphologies were analysed with recourse to traditional methods, as well as using new technologies.

Hierarchies were evaluated, spaces were filled, as were voids. Materials and matter were inventoried.

The existing (fabric) reveals a state of decadence and – nearly – of total abandonment, or even of ruin.

The proposal is defined by a re-use of the existing volumetric – the demolition of all annexes and extensions that were built as time passed – and organizing each volume according to its own identity, into a unit that will house a new function, adapted to a new reality: a hotel suite.

The ruin of the Mayor’s House will become a hotel with 10 suites, areas for common use, for administration and for service.

The houses will be independent villas, allowing for entire families to stay in the comfort of privacy, whilst availing of the support of the common hotel services.

The arrangement of the new construction forms patios which can be used as recreational spaces and shared by guests from both villas and hotel.

Different patios allow for circulation, but also facilitate circulation.

Alongside the city wall, a very large space was re-organised by creating landscaped terraces.

Circulation between spaces and occupied spaces is designed fluidly, allowing for any guest to have access and enjoy all possible activities in privacy and comfort.

A space has been reserved for food service, so that a high-quality restaurant, such as the one that once existed here, may be re-instated, to serve both guests and also any possible visitor.

To re-structure, by renewing construction, use and function, in a sustainable balance, where quality is sought.

The city – behind walls – re-opens.


Carlos Castanheira

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Álvaro Siza


Carlos Castanheira

Offfice in Portugal:

CC&CB – Architects, Lda.

Project Architect:

Isabel Carvalho

Project Team:

Raquel Fortuna

Joana Rocha

Fernanda Sá

João Figueiredo

Sara Cabral

João Alves

Mariana Mendes

Filipe Mota

Ricardo Fernandes

Catarina Araújo

Racha Doughman

Filipa Guedes

Jorge Pinheiro

Inês Cabrita

3D models and renderings:

Germano Vieira

Sara Noronha




Construction and

Engineering Projects, Lda.

Hydraulic, Thermal and Gas:
Noraqua –

Engineering Consultants, Lda.


Coelho Lima –

Engineering, Lda.

Electrical, Fire safety, Equipment and Installation for People and Cargo Transport:

Gatengel –

Engineering Projects, Lda.