It is a reference in civil architecture, but since this Saturday, June 1st, it has also become an Space of Creativity, Crafts and Arts (ECOA). The emblematic Palácio Gama Lobo, also known as Palácio dos Espanhóis, is the new nerve center of the Loulé Criativo project and will host workshops, training courses and artistic residencies.
Dating back to the second half of the XNUMXth century, this is an emblematic emblazoned building that includes the Sant'Anna Chapel, where funerals are currently held in the city of Loulé.
The space had been closed for several years, but the City Council decided to rehabilitate it, in an investment of around 1,3 million euros.
With the works already completed, this Saturday was the day to inaugurate the renovated Palácio Gama Lobo, in a ceremony that was attended by Pedro Siza Vieira, Deputy Minister for the Economy.
“This is a happy day for us and for the council. We see this beautiful building being returned to Loulés in all its splendour, in an extraordinary requalification work that included the precious work of the municipal architect Luís Guerreiro», began by saying Vítor Aleixo, Loulé mayor.
The Loulé Creative project, which theset to enhance the territory's identity, creativity and innovation for new tourist products (and beyond), it will have its new headquarters in the old palace.
Workshops, residencies, trainings, multipurpose rooms, five workshops (three of them community) and a space for exhibitions and sales are some of the features of ECOA – the Creative, Crafts and Arts Space of Loulé Criativo, then headquartered at Gama Lobo.
In addition, the Loulé Design Lab initiative itself, which is part of Loulé Criativo, will be transferred from the Convento Espírito Santo to the former Palace, which also has a room for events and conferences.
Spaces such as the Oficina dos Caldeireiros, in Rua da Barbacã, or the Casa da Empreita, in the Historic Center, will continue to operate in the same places.
«This is a work that is part of the municipal guideline that sees heritage rehabilitation as one of the most powerful resources for other forms of tourism than just the classic sun and beach ones», considered Vítor Aleixo.
«Loulé Criativo is, for the municipality, an opportunity for new activities and new entrepreneurs to emerge in the villages and in the interior of the municipality of Loulé so that they can incorporate the country's economic chain, but also to maintain and innovate traditions and create an ecosystem favorable to identity,” he added.
After visiting the renovated Palace, Minister Siza Vieira confessed to being delighted with the works carried out. «It is an exemplary and inspiring moment. Firstly, because we can witness the restoration of a remarkable building that takes on a new lease of life. The quality of the intervention is remarkable», he said.
For the government official, «the project that carries out this occupation» – Loulé Criativo – has «peculiar characteristics» such as «the idea that the recovery, renovation and enhancement of a community involves combining what are unique and historic characteristics. with innovation”.
In the minister's opinion, Loulé Criativo “contributes to making the city more pleasant for those who live here and also for those who visit it”.
It was also for this reason that the local authority decided to proceed with the work that does not make the space “only for contemplation”, but, instead, gives it “life”, said, in turn, Vítor Aleixo.
“For us, it is important that Loulé people understand what has been done here, that this palace has not been abandoned or condemned to oblivion, but that it has been lovingly rehabilitated,” he concluded.
During the next week, everyone can visit the renovated Palace, which was once Gama Lobo and the “Spanish” and now belongs to Loulé Criativo, between 9:00 am and 13:00 pm and 14:00 pm and 17:00 pm
Photos: Rodrigo Damascene | Sul Informação