1 Full Professor, School of Architecture, University of Lisbon; E-mail:;


In the South of Portugal, near the city of Faro, capital of the Algarve Province, is located the Milreu archaeological site well-known for its Roman ruins. The remains of a Villa and a Temple dedicated to the cult of Water. The archaeologist Estácio da Veiga (XIX-th century) and the German Archaeological Institute (1970’s) excavated this site.

A XVI-th century Rural House topping the existing roman ruins experienced successive expansions until the XIX-th century, becoming an Algarve singular domestic example. In 1990, the rehabilitation began and design solutions were carefully chosen. The precast concrete roof was removed and replaced by a traditional timber roof structure, the masonry walls stabilized, and the Roman mosaics on the pavements protected. This study presents an unique Roman Archaeological site, in a major touristic region, that underwent an extensive renovation program where major construction problems had to be solved to bring this place to public use.


Keywords: Masonry, adobe, wood, rehabilitation, archaeological site, rural house, Roman ruins