The government announced Monday that it has decided to grant a local architecture firm a contract for the design of its new youth recreational and activities centre in Praça do Tap Seac, which includes the demolition of the dilapidated Hotel Estoril and its adjacent Estoril Swimming Pool.
According to the draft design announced, the famous mosaic on the hotel’s façade will, however, be kept intact.
The government hosted a press conference about its decision, in which representatives from a number of government entities and from the company – Chan Kam Architectural Design Company Limited – briefed the media about the draft design of the project.
According to the draft design, the future youth recreational and activities centre will include a public car park, recreational areas for young people, auditoria, a conservatory, and an all-season swimming pool with a retractable roof.
According to the design, the mosaic will be kept intact – it will be removed from the hotel’s façade and then put back on the façade of the new building.
The government launched a tender for the design of the project late last year. A total of 11 companies submitted their bids. The government unsealed the 11 submitted bids in March and accepted nine of them.
The government has granted Chan Kam Architectural Design Company Limited the contract for 49.8 million patacas. The company is required to finish the design in 233 days.
The government first announced in 2015 its controversial plan to redevelop the long-vacant casino-hotel, which was built by the city’s then gaming monopoly STDM in the early 1960s, and the swimming pool behind the hotel, commonly known in Chinese as New Garden Swimming Pool.
At that time, public opinion regarding the fate of the building appeared to be starkly divided, with those supporting the preservation of the building and those who agreed that it should be demolished to make way for a new building. Others had called for the building’s redevelopment, but only if the hotel’s iconic façade including its mosaic depicting a scantily-clad woman remained intact.
The government has insisted that according to a survey that it conducted, the majority of local residents supported the redevelopment of the plot of land where Hotel Estoril and Estoril Swimming Pool are located.
Earlier this month, Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture Alexis Tam Chon Weng told reporters that the government has decided to keep the mosaic intact and also to keep the existing architectural characteristics of the ex-hotel’s façade for the new youth activities centre.