Rise of Portuguese Architecture: Fundamentals, Platform, Progression

June 1, 2018 to May 31, 2022
48 months

This research project aims to identify, systematize, characterize and unfold, one of the most celebrated phenomena of contemporary culture 'Portuguese architecture' intending also to confront its history, ideas, and methods, in a changing world.
Even if it is a subject commonly addressed in the architectural debate, Portuguese architecture is, at many levels, virtually unknown or misunderstood. This project will introduce and debate it broadly, through the English spoken word, opening it up to a wider global audience. Reuniting a team of researchers who have an extended CV on this area, the project aims to bring together their efforts to a new critical and global dimension, creating a groundbreaking reading of Portuguese architecture.

The trajectory and 'rise' of Portuguese architecture will be considered in 3 main areas: Fundamentals, Platform, Progression.
Fundamentals is a research on the genealogy of Portuguese architecture, its history, main themes, introduced as 'lines, documents, and buildings'. Going back to the Portuguese empire built in Brazil, Asia, and Africa, the Marquês de Pombal reconstruction of Lisbon, the Beaux-Arts and Art Nouveau affiliations, the 'Casa Portuguesa' trends of the 'Estado Novo' regime, the modernism recreations and, in the 1960's, the beginning of the Portuguese architecture's rise.
It will extract the 'fundamentals' focusing on the 'rise' period, 1966-2016: from the opening of the Álvaro Siza's Leça Swimming Pool to the present. 'Fundamentals' will configure a description and a theory on Portuguese architecture (including all 'other' Portuguese architectures, in Macau and Africa).
Platform is a database that will provide information on the 'fundamentals' lines, documents and buildings, and on the 'progression' research and activities. It will work as a site for future researches and to a global dissemination of the topic continuing after the project deadline. It will support the project's dissemination activities 'editorial, filmic and curatorial' and will create a Portuguese architecture network.
Progression will confront Portuguese architecture with the main European themes of our time: democracy vs bureaucracy, globalism vs nationalism, post-colonialism vs colonialism; with the shifts in the architect’s profession and on the role of architecture in society. It is a research that will test the resilience and contribution of Portuguese architecture in the current political, economic and cultural scenario. In that sense, the project will include the creation of a network of young researchers that are based in different European institutions, 'Facing Europe', who will through workshops produce a multifaceted and critical outlook on (EU)ROPA.
Quoting Giorgio Agamben, the project aims to confirm that 'between the archaic and the modern there is a secret 'appointment', and to question Portuguese architecture status as a rooted sign of European culture.

portuguese architecture, critical assessment, european debate, internationalization
Funding Entity
FEDER - Fundo Europeu de Desenvolvimento Regional funds through the COMPETE 2020 - Operacional Programme for Competitiveness and Internationalisation (POCI), and by Portuguese funds through FCT - Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia