Housing Rehabilitation - A Casa da Cascata Guest House

São Miguel Island, 2015 - 2015

A Casa da Cascata Guesthouse is located on Largo Gaspar Frutuoso and next to the Mother Church of Ribeira Grande. Despite being centrally located, it is nevertheless in a quiet area of the city. 

As a residence, the house dates back to the beginning of the 20th century and is thought to have been drawn by the hand of the architect, Antonio Ayla Sanches. One can discern the Italian influence in its façade, which features textures, arched spans, frames, wrought iron balconies, with high ceilings and abundant natural light on the interior. It stands out from the surrounding structures by virtue of its beautiful imposing façade. It is, without doubt, of architectural, historical, cultural and touristic interest. 

The building has an interesting volumetric composition - narrow and high, sub-divided into two floors plus a third in the roof area. At the one end of the property is an outdoor patio. 

The renovation benefits from considerable reflection and historical research of both the building’s location within the city and of the property itself, with a view to retaining the essence of the place. The object of the renovation was to develop high quality tourist accommodation which allies the best that the Azores has to offer. It features all the comforts of a contemporary residence while retaining the essence of the building’s history and heritage. Care was taken to enhance those features which express the building’s era and sense of antiquity, while ensuring that the accommodation incorporated all the amenities expected by the discerning traveller. The renovation makes the most of the building’s natural light, and has included a series of rooms and suites, with leisure areas, contemporary kitchen and bathroom facilities. The renovated patio incorporates barbecue and dining facilities, as well as a garden and small farming area. 

While observing the principles of sustainability and renewable energy, the renovation reflects the spirit of the Azores, with the sympathetic use of indigenous materials. It takes particular cognisance of the surrounding landscape, which is an essential feature of the accommodation’s merits, having splendid views of the monuments of the city centre and easy access to tourist highlights such as the Lagoa do Fogo mountain, the north coast of the island and the Atlantic ocean.