Rehabilitation of a 17th century building for the Portuguese Episcopal Conference

Authors: Nuno Valentim; Margarida Carvalho
Location: Lisbon, Portugal
Video: Building Pictures, Sara Nunes, Bruna Ferreira, Inés Henriques

General aspects: The Bom Pastor Palace rehabilitation consisted in the adaptation of a building for the installation set of the Portuguese Episcopal Conference – an extensive, diversified and complex service program.
Although the first reference of the Quinta da Buraca goes back to 1712, it was only in the second half of the 18th century that the current setting was established and built, with the main building, secondary structures, boxwood garden and the frescoes pavilion.
Most of the services are located in the central building, which are distributed throughout three floors taking advantage of room partitions and pre-existing decorative elements – namely ceilings, floors and interior wooden fixtures.
The transitions between the main building as concentrate the secondary bodies reception/ waiting areas and common spaces – library, bar, bathrooms and meeting rooms, as well as the elevator, an essential addition to the circulation between buildings that were previously autonomous.
The intervention in outdoor spaces was also very important for the setting, considering the classification of Quinta do Bom Pastor as a green space of municipal interest. Walls and paths were requalified while keeping the signs of a rural matrix, the boxwood garden was dignified and the relationship of the building with the exterior was reintegrated.

Why did you choose this category?: The characteristics of the building were preserved regarding materials and architectural language. However, there was a need to resort reinterpretations in the areas of deeper intervention.
The programme and the type of use required great infrastructural charge, which had to be introduced while preserving the integrity of the pre-existence. Simultaneously, there was the need to ensure the correct hygrothermal functioning of the building, to correct the causes of detected anomalies and to introduce isolation in roofs. All solutions were dimensioned space by case, considering function, number of users, solar orientation, thermal inertia, etc.…

It was sought to identify, diagnose and rehabilitate the decorative elements that characterized the successive interventions in the building, consequence of the various owners who wanted to leave their mark – such as the original elements of the building in stone masonry, balustrades and iron railings, but also the decorative tile panels (interior and exterior), the facade of tiles placed in front of the boxwood garden, and the frescoes on the ceiling of the frescoe pavilion.