The Convent of Santa Joana belonged to the Order of Preachers and its foundation dates back to the year 1699 in the seventeenth century. Originally endowed with a church, houses and workshops, it was to undergo a new campaign of works after the great earthquake of 1755, becoming defunct in 1890, upon the death of the last nun. In the 20th century, the church would be disconnected from the rest of the buildings which continued to serve distinct functions but in a progressively worse state of conservation. Its acquisition by a consortium committed to the conversion of the set into a luxury hotel heralded the rebirth of the convent. Making strengths out of weaknesses, the somewhat tumultuous conditions dictated by the historical and evolutionary context of the occupation of that space demanded a deep analysis of the future intervention.

This was to be structured into three large areas, characterised by different constructive options: the western body, the eastern body and a central body. Taking advantage of the historical background of the building and the religious heritage associated with the site, a total of 63 residential apartments and 49 tourist apartments were designed, complemented by a commercial area. The architectural, heritage and artistic elements were regarded as an added value in the regeneration of the spaces, which foresaw their recovery and integration. The new design for this multi-purpose development in Lisbon was thus established with a renewed care for the formal/architectural articulation between the pre-existing structures and the solutions indicated by modernity.


«Considering the specific characteristics inherent to a project of this nature, it was the subject of an energy modelling process, designed with the use of thermodynamic simulation tools and in accordance with BREEAM certification parameters. This allows the energy efficiency solutions and their respective air conditioning and energy consumption schemes to be properly defined, enabling a consumption profile of excellence to be drawn, once solutions and systems which are able to optimise comfort and reduce energy consumption and associated costs to a minimum were identified.»

Liliana Soares

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