Secretary for Culture and Social Affairs Alexis Tam Chon Weng said on Tuesday that a famous Portuguese architect had suggested that the dilapidated Hotel Estoril should be demolished as part of the government’s reconstruction project.
Tam had said previously that he plans to redevelop the vacant former casino-hotel into an arts and culture centre for young people, apart from plans to develop Praça do Tap Seac into the city’s arts hub.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a closing ceremony of a military summer camp for local youngsters in the mainland, Tam said that during his visit to Portugal he met Alvaro Siza Vieira, an architect well versed in Macau’s architecture, who told him that the façade of the hotel was not part of the city’s cultural heritage.
Tam said the architect also pointed out that if the government planned to build a youth activities centre on the site of the hotel, any attempt to preserve the façade would only extend the time it takes to complete the project, so he suggested that the government start from scratch.
Tam said that he would invite Siza Vieira to work with local architects and designers on the project at a later date. Siza Vieira, as Pritzker Prize winner, worked in Macau for several years before the 1999 handover.
Tam also said he hoped to complete the plans for the project by September.
Meanwhile, the office of the secretary said in a statement that the government would be collecting suggestions about the hotel’s fate from the public starting today until August 20. It also said two public consultation sessions would be held in the Tap Seac Multisport Pavilion next month, one in the afternoon of August 2 and another in the morning of August 8. (macaunews/macaupost)