The iconic Villa Theatro Hotel was renovated to offer maximum comfort and style, without losing the essence of its history and privileged location in the heart of Braga.

The Villa Theatro Hotel, in the heart of Braga, Portugal, was originally designed in the early 20th century by architect Moura Coutinho to house a bakery on the ground floor, with offices and residential units above. Over time it has undergone several changes of use and to the design.

In 2016, Arquitectos Aliados was commissioned to design and coordinate a comprehensive overhaul of the building, including the interior design. The brief was to have short-term accommodation on the upper levels, whilst keeping the commercial element on the ground floor. The result is proof that the past and present can be united with elegance and sophistication.

Historical ground floor

The original facade owes its conception to early 19th century architecture and several trips Moura Coutinho had made to France. Two markedly asymmetrical lower floors contrast with the rigorously symmetrical upper floors. On the ground floor, notable elements are the plinth in local grey granite and a high-relief frieze showing Sumerian-inspired winged figures in faux granite, as well as the wider entryway for accessing the shops and the more elegant door for going upstairs.

A mixture of windows

On the first floor, there is a beautiful bow window above the door to the upper floors and a set of three deeply arched windows above the commercial door. The upper floors display sets of three markedly horizontal windows and the top floor is adorned with a faux colonnade and dormer windows of Parisian design on a terracotta tile roof with eaves, instead of the zinc lining used in the roofs of Paris.

Contemporary palette

The original building’s shades of pink, grey and white have now been replaced by mustard yellow, ivory white and cream white. The rear facade has retained its symmetrical design with the same contemporary attitude, also evidenced in the spatial and functional composition of the interiors. The terracotta tile roof is now lined in white zinc to house and harmonise the various new roof components parts, such as ventilation units and skylights.

Unique accommodation

There are nine accommodation units, of which seven are each styled individually, making good use of the new skylights.

Upgraded access

A new stairwell and elevator were proposed, which was not in the original design, while the original two small lobbies were replaced with one large lobby. The first floor terrace was made more accessible by removing a cluster of small annexes that were in the way.

Project information
Project: Villa Theatro.
Location: Avenida da Liberdale, Braga, Portugal.
Area: 960m².
Completion date: 2022.
Architect: Arquitectos Aliados, Lda.
Photography: Ivo Tavares Studio.

Full acknowledgement and thanks go to https://www.ivotavares.net/ for the information in this editorial.

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