Classified Immovable Properties

    AM049-Our Lady of Mercy Home for the Elderly



    Location: Macao

    Category: Buildings of architectural interest

    The Holy House of Mercy was founded in 1569 by D. Belchior Carneiro, the first bishop of Macao, to carry out charity and relief work. As a time-honoured charity organisation in Macao, the Holy House of Mercy has been providing relief and shelter services since its inauguration and has established St. Raphael Hospital, the first Western-style hospital in China, as well as several other social welfare institutions, such as foundling homes, a leprosarium, elderly homes and orphanages. In 1924, the then Governor of Macao, Rodrigo José Rodrigues, granted a piece of land located at the Rua de D. Belchior Carneiro to the Holy House of Mercy to build a shelter. Artur Rocha Schiappa Monteiro de Carvalho, the engineer of the then Public Works Bureau, was responsible for the design of the shelter, and also designed some representative eclectic buildings in Macao, such as Hotel Central and the Headquarters Building of the Banco Nacional Ultramarino.

     

    Inaugurated in 1925, Our Lady of Mercy Home for the Elderly satisfies hygienic requirements such as good lighting and ventilation and provides a garden area. The Home consists of three zones: on the two sides of the first floor are the men’s and women’s wards, which are separated by an administrative office and a reception area in the middle; on the second floor are the doctors’ offices. Plenty of glass windows are installed in the men’s and women’s wards, which provides sufficient sunshine and facilitates ventilation. Affiliated spaces, such as washrooms and bathrooms, are also furnished and are connected to the garden and the chapel respectively.

     

    The Home is designed with an axisymmetric, W-shaped layout, and is mainly supported by simplified Tuscan columns. The building features a prominent section in the centre with a porch on the first floor and a big arch on the second floor. It is predominantly an eclectic building that features a unique design in addition to its three-section façade, veranda, balcony, Portuguese window shutters and plaster walls. The keystones atop the traditional doors and windows extend upward to the eaves, rendering a special visual relationship between the doors, windows and the elevations of the building. Moreover, huge horizontal overhangs encompass the building, which not only enhances the architectural image, but also reflects the integration of the modern architectural style.

     

    In 1998, the Home underwent a large-scale renovation, and a new building was constructed in the adjacent land lot, where dwellers of the old Albergue were resettled. The Home once again came into service on 21 June 2000, and the old Albergue was closed the same year. After renovation, the Home has retained its original architectural appearance and features, and has an administration office, canteen, kitchen, chapel as well as a fully equipped physical therapy room. The Home can provide accommodation for over 120 elderly citizens.


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