Lou Kau Mansion, situated at No.7 of Travessa da Sé in Macao, is the former residence of the renowned Macao merchant Lou Wa Sio (Lou Kau)'s family. Based on the inscriptions on the eaves in the left courtyard, the mansion was completed in 1889, the 15th year of Emperor Guangxu's reign in the Qing Dynasty. Lou Kau was born in Xinhui, Guangdong, and moved to Macao in 1857, the 6th year of Emperor Xianfeng's reign in the Qing dynasty. According to genealogical records, Lou Kau ‘lost his parents at a young age and led a poor life. After reaching 20 years old, he moved to Macao and worked in the currency exchange sector. With some savings, he opened the Pou Hong Money Changer. He operated his businesses with prudence and accumulated unrivalled wealth.’ The street Rua do Lu Cao in Macao is named in memory of Lou Wa Sio.



Architectural Description:
Lou Kau Mansion, a two-storey building made of thick grey-bricks, is representative of Chinese residences featuring the graceful and delicate architectural style in central Guangdong in the late Qing dynasty. The mansion has two interior courtyards which were designed for natural lighting purposes, and a door screen at the main entrance for preventing evil influences, based on Feng Shui principles. The recessed entrance of the main facade is of the typical Chinese style, yet the windows suggest a certain level of influence from Western architecture. The two-storey building features a layout of three bays in width and three halls in depth, which comprises halls, rooms, kitchens, utility rooms and patios. The inside of the building was designed with several patios to enhance ventilation and natural lighting. Despite being separated by door screens, the space along the central axis is directly accessible. The interior décor is rather fascinating with a combination of Chinese brick carvings, plasterwork, horizontal panels, hanging openwork arches and oyster shell windows, which are common in central Guangdong, as well as Western false ceilings, Manzhou widows (stained glass windows) and cast-iron handrails. All the windows on the front facade are adorned with Portuguese shutters, of which the two windows on left and right at the top are the most exquisite. The window sashes are framed with metal, and the shutters are paired with semi-circular stained glass windows decorated with plasterwork on top. The mansion is an exemplary representation of the integration of Chinese and Western architectural styles, which is unique to residences in Macao.