Acclaimed as one of the top eight sites of Macao, the Taipa Houses represents the charming Portuguese architectural style in Taipa. The Portuguese residences along Avenida da Praia, together with the neighbouring Our Lady of Carmel Church and the garden, comprise a picturesque landscape in which the five green houses stand out as the most representative.
These five houses, built in 1921, once served as the residences of senior civil servants, also namely Macanese families; in 1992, they were acknowledged as a building complex of architectural value. Later, the government decided to revamp the houses completely as a museum site, opened to the public at the end of 1999 as the ‘Taipa Houses-Museum’.
In September 2016, the Macao SAR Government re-capitalised on these five buildings by transforming them into the ‘Macanese Living Museum’, ‘Exhibitions Gallery’, ‘Creative Casa’, ‘Nostalgic House’ and ‘House for Receptions’ from west to east, respectively. This project has converted the place into a combination of culture and creativity, with outdoor performances and leisure elements, making it a showcase of not only the culture of the Portuguese-speaking countries but of culture from all over the world.
Macanese Living Museum
The Macanese Living Museum recreates daily scenes from Macao’s past. The term ‘Macanese’ refers to the ethnic group whose Portuguese ancestors married Chinese, Malay and Filipinos from Southeast Asia, and Indians from South Asia, in Macao. The Macanese have their own dialect and lifestyle; while most of them share Western religious beliefs they are also deeply influenced by Chinese life patterns.
The Exhibitions Gallery shows exhibitions from time to time to enrich local people’s leisure life. In addition, it is available for consulates to borrow to serve as an exhibition and exchange venue for world culture and art, thus introducing more cultural tourism elements through exchanges between Macao and other countries.
The Creative Casa primarily serves as a platform for the exhibition and promotion of the culture and information of Macao and Portuguese-speaking countries, and the sale of specialty products. The ground floor displays and sells cultural products and publications with Portuguese characteristics and related to Taipa, and the first floor is a space for temporary exhibitions.
In the Nostalgic House, special exhibitions on the Macanese people and the Cotai district are organized from time to time in order to display the native culture, life, religion, architecture, and cuisine of the Macanese community and Cotai district in the past and present.
House for Receptions
The House for Receptions is not open to the public. It is a venue for official banquets, receptions and other activities.