Lisbon 2018 | Residential

Hôtel d'Aultane

FranceFranceCompany Name: Plâtrerie Zambelli

Project description

The « Hôtel d’Aultane » is a townhouse, which was originally the private residence of the General d’Aultane. Built in 1802, the building was divided into several apartments in 1979. Until recently, it had never been refurbished. The project centers around the restoration of the 200 year-old ornamental gypsum ceiling. It represents a huge eagle, which is quite unique by its relief and overall dimensions (reach: 1,80 m, height: 1 m, weight: 80 kg). It is similar to a real sculpture, hanging from the ceiling. Prominent cracks had been incurred over the last years, to such an extent that the ceiling had become dangerous for the residents. Patrick Zambelli was commissioned to restore the ceiling, identically to the original. The project required traditional plaster restoration skills which have become rare: hand-modeling of plaster in-situ, restoration of plaster ornaments, and creation of models, molds and their reproduction.


Plâtrerie Zambelli

The Zambelli family has been plastering since the mid-19th century. Currently, Patrick Zambelli performs all traditional plastering work : brickwork, coatings, sarasin arch, restoration of plaster decors, fibrous plasterwork, modelling of plaster in-situ. Among his various skills, his main focus is on fibrous plasterwork and the on-site restoration of plaster decors. He works mainly on old buildings, chapels and traditional houses, and his customers are mainly individuals and institutional customers.

Load bearing guarantee
Traditional fixing system with fibrous plaster (Molda® 3 Normal + jute scrim) and a wire mesh
Inspiring spaces
Excellent surface finish, through hand-modelling of plaster (Lutèce® Bleu) in situ

Key Achievements

  • A real work of art, accomplished by the hands of the craftsman
  • A contribution to preserving local cultural heritage, creating a ceiling for the next centuries
  • An exceptional example of on-site decorative plaster work which has become a rare skill

Key Challenges

  • Huge size and high-relief gypsum ornaments
  • Risk of ceiling collapse during the works
  • Work at height
  • Work in a historic environment


Building owner:
Gestissimo – Agence Ofival
Main contractor:
Raphaël Demaret
Saint-Gobain Team:
Alexandre Thomas, Isabelle Marandet