Hotel in Covilhã

Covilhã, Portugal


The Enatur Hotel (Pestana Group) results of the rehabilitation of the building of the ancient Sanatorium of the railway workers, in Covilha designed by architect Cottineli. The abandoned building situated at 1200 meters high had the intervention of Souto de Moura who wanted to rebuild the “monumental serenity” of the 20th century sanatorium in Serra da Estrela. The total investment went up to 19,6 million of euros.

The main challenges of the project are the use of the remaining building, the necessary excavation and the insertion of the needed infrastructures to maintain the existing openings. The building procedure consists in cutting the slab in rectangles and fitting metallic beams in those holes so that the rest can be demolished. The slabs are generally mixed.

The first question was whether we should keep the sanatorium atmosphere and its lining materials. We thought so, because they were a
good image of an environment of the 30s, with the advantage that today the materials existing there could still be found. Thus, the proposal
was a “full restoration”, except for the redesign of the roofs. It was intended to meet the real needs for the implementation of an hotel
equipment making it profitable, efficient and functional, without changing the adopted concept of a “global restoration”, where the adaptation to its new function was almost “natural” and which, altogether, had the coherent and final image of a reconstructed building.

Eduardo Souto de Moura


online magazine

Location: Covilhã, Portugal
Client: Pestana Group
Year: 1997
Area: 7300 m2
Builder: Soares da Costa