With more than five hundred years of history, the Bernardas Convent was founded in 1509, and is the only one of the Cister Order in this Portuguese southern region. The 1755 earthquake severely damaged the building – although the Manuelin portal survived, and is still preserved today –, which underwent several refurbishments until the extinction of religious orders in Portugal, when it was acquired in public auction and used as a factory. After several years of radical transformations that completely altered its character, the convent fell into disuse.
The refurbishment and extension project keeps in mind the difficulty of making interventions in heritage buildings economically feasible, especially when they are transformed into public facilities which involve a high maintenance cost. In this case, however, the convent has been transformed into a residential complex, including 78 dwellings of different sizes in the original structure and the adjacent newly built extension. Aside from the housing program, the project includes two saltwater swimming pools, evoking the many saltpans present in this region of Portugal.
EGI – Entreposto Gestão Imobiliária
Eduardo Souto de Moura
Tiago Figueiredo (coordinador coordinator), Elisa Lindade, Ana Rita Alves, Ana Fortuna, Tiago Coelho, João Pedro Mendes, Patrícia Sobral, Ricardo Prata, Pedro Oliveira, Isabel Neves, Diogo Guimarães, Cláudia Romão, Jorge Domingues, Junko Imamura, Marta Pinho
A2P – Estudos e Projectos (estructura structural engineering)
Luís Ferreira Alves