The present edition of Habitar Portugal has been entitled “Está a arquitetura sob resgate?” –Is architecture being rescued?”; a clear reference to the “rescue” of the Portuguese economy in recent years. The exhibitions, which will travel around Portugal, reflect on the issue of the economic crisis and how it has affected Portugese architecture.
“Está a arquitetura sob resgate?” Habitar Portugal 12-14
December 10, 2016 – January 29, 2017
Palácio Marquês de Pombal
Rua de O Século 79, Lisboa
The present exhibition -an initiative of the Order of Architects, which is associated with the Lisbon City Council and EGEAC- is part of a tour of 14 exhibitions that runs through Portugal and will end at the end of 2017. This series of exhibitions seeks in its various representation to understand, discuss and make a report on the state and condition of Portuguese architecture. For this purpose, each exhibition is unique both in its layout and in the final display of the elements of original content of research and reflection of the curator. The exhibition in Lisbon highilights the works of its Metropolitan Area with the videos shown in the Specific Atmosphere section and the presentations made by its authors. The debates that will take place as part of the programmed activities related to the exhibition seek to bring different views and broaden the scope of the discussion.
The process of rescuing the Portuguese economy implied a process of readjustment as a consequence of this state of suspension and reassessment of its previous state. Crisis processes have historically been fruitful moments for architecture and its history, so how can see and perceive the present crisis? If the architecture is under rescue, how may its readjustment be?
The exhibition Habitar Portugal is an initiative of the Order of Architects, who have taken care of its development since 2003. Its wide scope, both geographically and from the point of view of the authors and works represented, constitutes an important reference of the quality of the architecture in Portugal.
This initiative is open to all architects, through an application process, which makes this exhibition a unique initiative, which guarantees a broad participation by professionals, as well as making it a privileged moment for the dissemination of the works by young architects. It is a unique initiative, as it allows a greater relationship among citizens thanks to the itinerant nature of the exhibitions. (João Santa-Rita, Presidente da Ordem dos Arquitectos, 2014-2016 )
In 2003, on the occasion of the National Year of Architecture, the National Board of Directors of the Order of Architects (OA) began a process of Selection of Works of Contemporary Portuguese Architecture, to be held every three years with the aim of disseminating the work of the members of the Order during the previous three years.. This selection, under the name “Habitar Portugal”, was to fill a gap in the aknowledgement of referencial works in contemporary Portuguese architecture, organized geographically -the Islands, North, Center , South, Metropolitan Areas of Lisbon and Porto, and works built outside Portugal. This model allowed an approach in several aspects: territorial dispersion, diversity of programs, different languages and multiplicity of authors.
Since the 2009-2011 edition, commissioned by Susana Ventura, the selection of the works present in the exhibition was made by the Commissioners at a conference held at the headquarters of the Order of Architects and was available exclusively through the website www.habitarportugal.org. This edition was the first edition in which the commissariat was not directly assigned by OA but the result of a competition open to all architects. The winning team presented a proposal that constituted a paradigm shift, inn which the distribution of works was not geographical, as before, but by itineraries.