Loulé Music Conservatory

Practice / Prize (ex aequo)

The 19th century Manor House da Música Nova – former Manor House of the prestigious Barros e Aragões family – is located in the south of the country, a region of intense tourism in Portugal. The property, occupied for years by the “Música Nova” philharmonic band, was in an advanced state of abandonment and ruin. The intervention carried out in aimed to reinstall the educational and cultural use of the two-storey building.


This historic manor house of Loulé now comprises three distinct units linked by music: Loulé Music Conservatory – Francisco Rosado, the headquarters of the Philharmonic Band Artists of Minerva and a Municipal Auditorium. In addition to safeguarding the building and reinforcing identity ties with the city and cultural memory of this space, the objectives inherent in this intervention were to preserve an example of the modern heritage of the region, to provide purposely built spaces for music teaching and learning, and finally to “replace the place” in this space by daily bringing in 300 music students, more than a hundred teachers and staff, and families.


The new use given to this heritage, enlarged by the addition of the new auditorium building complies with international criteria for the establishment of an architectural methodology regarding adaptive reuse interventions. The contemporary amenity with its qualified spaces provides a learning environment that contributes to communities’ awareness on the value of modern and historic buildings to the users wellbeing, facilitating the use through a cultural activity: music. Therefore, sociocultural sustainability was achieved in an innovative way by joining all people in a qualified modern heritage environment.


Authors: Victor Mestre; Sofia Aleixo



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