NTNU, Trondheim

TYPE: Hostel transformation

YEAR: 2014


ROLE: Thesis 2 person design team



N: Marius Meyer Hatletveit          M: post@mmharchitecture.com            P: +47 455 11 411






Our intention with this project was to show how abandoned buildings in Oporto, or Porto as it is commonly known, can be reused and with that become something useful and revitalizing for the city.


We chose to work towards creating a hostel within the abandoned buildings of Porto. Working with a hostel is something that we can both relate very closely to, being somewhat young and with a passion for traveling. Therefore this program was something we wished to dive into and explore further.



Porto is today a shrinking city, in need of new goals and revitalization. It is also a UNESCO city with a long history and many old beautiful buildings, many of which are now abandoned and derelict. These buildings are in dire need of attention, but the money is not there in Porto to do something about it.


Porto needs to recreate itself. It needs to build on the assets that it has today, not the ones that were there a hundred years ago. It needs functions that help the revitalization and it needs reuse of its abandoned buildings.



As a world heritage city, Porto can build on one of the great assets that it has, namely tourism.


Using buildings in the historic city of Porto, we aimed to create a social and attractive environment. Through creating this environment we wished to test how reusing an already existing building could become a successful venture, both financially and socially. We aimed to create a project that could work as an example of how to successfully reuse the abandoned buildings of Porto. We wanted to keep the project to a reasonable budget level (through material usage and construction methods) and to create a project that can be used by as many people as possible.



In 1996 the historical center of Porto was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Porto, as a tourist destination becomes even more attractive. This status comes with a responsibility to take care of this heritage. “Legislative and regulatory measures at national and local levels should assure the survival of the property and its protection against development and change that might negatively impact the Outstanding Universal Value, or the

integrity and/or authenticity of the property. States Parties should also assure the full and effective implementation of such measures.”


This requires both Portugal as a country and Porto as a city to take care of its heritage. In Porto, an entity, Porto Vivo, was established to take care of this world heritage.

Part of assuring the survival of the site is creating rules so that it does not change its character. From what we have understood these rules are:

No relevant interventions within the property that affect;

- The volume of the building

- The morphology

- The color and materials

Exceptions within this can be made, subject to further control.

Map of derelict buildings in Porto

Situation plan



The buildings are located very centrally in the historic city. Here, in the center of Porto almost everything is walking distance and especially in this point, Just about everything is right down or up the street, be it the Sé do Porto cathedral, the Sao Bento train station, the Douro river, the Palacio da Bolsa or the gardens Horto das Virtudes.



The building is located in the intersection between the medieval part of historic Porto, with winding narrow streets, and the “new” part of historic Porto, with wide straight streets built in the 19th century.



Located just in a side street from the intersection between Rua Mouzinho da Silveira, Rua San Joao, Largo San Domingos and Travessa Bainharia, the building is easily seen from one of the busiest intersections in medieval Porto.



Though the buildings are located close to one of the busiest intersections in historic Porto, the hostel is screened from the noise by the narrow street and tall buildings surrounding it.

Plan existing layout

Section perspective


Rebuilding the old with new materials only creates a replica of the past. We wish to leave it as it is, making a statement of the changes that the city

is going through

The condition of the roofs varies. One will be kept while the two others will go through reparation or reconstruction depending on results of an analysis

The current staircase is in bad repair and suffers a disadvantageous location for uniting the buildings. It is removed and replaced by a new,

spacious staircase that works as a fire cell

To create space for the stairs and elevator we connect the levels of the basement of building D and the ground floor of building B by removing land mass worth one floor

We introduce an elevator into the building as is spans over 9 floors, thus making it more usable and comfortable. We do not, however, make it universally accessible, as both the building and location makes this practically impossible

Plan basement

Plan ground floor

Plan first floor

Plan second floor

Plan third floor

Plan fourth floor

Plan fifth floor

Plan sixth floor

Section N - S

Section E - W

Fasade N

Fasade W