Architecture students called upon to regenerate disused Portuguese convent

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

convent regeneration

Oxford Brookes Masters students have been visiting the city of Evora in Portugal to develop proposals to reuse and regenerate a disused convent in Sao Bento de Castris.

Oxford Brookes Masters students have been visiting the city of Evora in Portugal to develop proposals to reuse and regenerate a disused convent in Sao Bento de Castris.

The 31 students from Brookes are studying International Architectural Regeneration and Development and Applied Design in Architecture and will be collaborating with students from the University of Evora’s School of Architecture in Portugal. 

With origins in the 15th century and numerous additions since, the convent has been redundant since 2005 and is under the protection of the Regional Directorate for Culture (DRCA Alentejo).  The DRCA are actively seeking a feasible new use for the convent and have welcomed the Oxford Brookes students taking it up as a project

The desire to find a meaningful re-use for the convent was also expressed by local councillor Carlos Pinto de Sa, Ana Paulo Amendeoria, Regional Director for Culture and Prof Ana Costa Freitas, rector of Evora University at a public meeting held to discuss the future of the convent. 

Speaking at the meeting, Dr Aylin Orbasli emphasised that proposals for the future of the convent also needed to recognise the historic, spiritual, social and personal associations of the place. 

Matt Gaskin, head of the School of Architecture said "We look forward to working with the students as they develop regeneration projects for this significant and complex building and to exhibit some of the best projects in Evora later in the year."

The project is part of the students’ field research for their second semester design project. The collaboration with Evora University is being supported by a Santander Partnership Development grant.   

More information about the Department of Planning and the School of Architecture can be found on the website