The museum complex consists of five houses, of which four display various artefacts and exhibits on life during Macau's colonial era while another serves as an event venue. The houses were built in 1921. These colonial residences were restored to recreate houses of well-off Portuguese families living in Macau during the first half of the 20th century. The last house was restored in 1999. The Taipa Houses–Museum opened on 5 December 1999 and is administered by the Macau Civil and Municipal Affairs Bureau.
The houses used to look out over the sea, but due to land reclamation of the Cotai Strip between Taipa and Coloane, they are now next to a small lake.