Hotel Santiago de Alfama

Hotel Santiago de Alfama

For those who do not know Alfama – and many of Lisbon’s typical neighbourhoods – it is difficult to imagine what is hidden behind the walls of the Santiago de Alfama Hotel. The date of construction is not known but it was prior to the 1755 earthquake. The building is an intricate labyrinth with no right-angled walls anywhere, which helps us understand the relations created between morphology and housing needs through the ages.

Situated close to the castle and with a view over the river, the hotel structurally incorporates the different ways of life extending from the time of its initial construction and covering the eras it has since experienced. Constructed in a haphazard, improvised manner, the edifice was occupied and adapted according to the needs of its residents. As is typical in this type of construction, it features quantities of architectural features of different styles and eras, including Gothic arches, Manueline colonnades and various Roman traces. The respect adhered to when building the hotel is clearly visible, both in the preservation of the labyrinthine structure as in the careful conservation of the archaeological features encountered, harmonising the leading idea of a functional, contemporary hotel with the city’s historic legacy.

No extra height was added to the building. It respects and adheres to the typically uneven line of Alfama’s horizon without disturbing it. By digging down, however, it was possible to extend the constructed area in depth and in this part various hotel services were installed. The main suite on the last floor allows guests to enjoy one of the most overwhelming views over the river of Lisbon.



2013 - 2016


Lisboa, Portugal


2387 m2


Rua de Santiago


LuÍs Rebelo de Andrade, Pedro Baptista Dias, Madalena Rebelo de Andrade, Raquel Jorge

Structural Project

Estiplano - Estudos e Projectos

Infrastructural Project

Estiplano - Estudos e Projectos


Teixeira Duarte (Estruturas), San Jose Construtora (Revestimentos)

On-Site Coordination

RTNC, Consultores de Engenharia


João Morgado - Fotografia de Arquitectura


Valério Romão