“Les universalistes” 50 years of Portuguese architecture now showing in Paris

The exhibition, celebrating the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation’s 50th anniversary in Paris, showcases some of the best Portuguese architecture in search for the universalist movement already present in Portuguese literature, cinema and arts.

 

Quartier de Saõ Victor, Porto, Portugal (1974-1976), Álvaro Siza © Archive MoMA (New York)

Quartier de Saõ Victor, Porto, Portugal (1974-1976), Álvaro Siza © Archive MoMA (New York)

 

The Cité de l’architecture et du patrimoine in Paris is holding an exhibition showcasing some of the best Portuguese architecture of the last five decades, in an attempt to discover a common ground based on a certain “universalism” – a conceptual condition already present in other fields of the Portuguese culture: literature, arts and cinema.

The exhibition, curated by architect and professor Nuno Grande, will be open from April 13 to August 29, 2016 organized by the Gulbenkian Foundation, which celebrates with this exhibition its 50th anniversary. Under the name of “Les universalistes. 50 ans d’architecture portugaise“, the exhibition will display works of renoned architects such as Fernando Távora, Álvaro Siza, Eduardo Souto de Moura, the Aires Mateus brothers and Joao Luis Carrilho da Graça, among many others.

 

"Les universalistes. 50 years of Portuguese architecture" exhibition view © Change is Good

“Les universalistes. 50 years of Portuguese architecture” exhibition view © Change is Good

"Les universalistes. 50 years of Portuguese architecture" exhibition view © Change is Good

“Les universalistes. 50 years of Portuguese architecture” exhibition view © Change is Good


 

Practical Information

“Les universalistes. 50 ans d’architecture portugaise”
April 13 – August 29, 2016
Cité de l’architecture et du patrimoine
Palais de Chaillot – 1, place du Trocadéro,
75116 Paris
France

 


Designed to mark the 50th anniversary (1965-2015) of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in Paris, the exhibition “Les universalistes” provides a look at a half century of Portuguese thought and architectural production. Its aim is to promote an  interdisciplinary discovery of Portuguese architecture as one of the markers of the cultural and social context of contemporary Portugal, also taking account of its inclusion in various global dynamics over the past five decades.

 

Siège et Musée de la Fondation Calouste Gulbenkian à Lisbonne, Portugal (1959-1969), Ruy Jervis d’Athouguia, Alberto Pessoa et Pedro Cid © Mário de  Oliveira

Siège et Musée de la Fondation Calouste Gulbenkian à Lisbonne, Portugal (1959-1969), Ruy Jervis d’Athouguia, Alberto Pessoa et Pedro Cid © Mário de Oliveira

Siège et Musée de la Fondation Calouste Gulbenkian à Lisbonne, Portugal (1959-1969), Ruy Jervis d’Athouguia, Alberto Pessoa et Pedro Cid © Mário de  Oliveira

Siège et Musée de la Fondation Calouste Gulbenkian à Lisbonne, Portugal (1959-1969), Ruy Jervis d’Athouguia, Alberto Pessoa et Pedro Cid © Mário de Oliveira

 

The exhibition affirms the existence of a particular “universalism” latent in the works of the best Portuguese architects of several generations. In an balance between the universal heritage of architectural history and the geographical and cultural constraints of the building site, the architects have had a consistent and critical fusion between what we now call ” global “and” local “.

 

Croquis, Piscine « das Marés», Leça da Palmeira, Portugal (1961-1966), Álvaro Siza © Atelier d’Álvaro  Siza/Centre 84 Canadien d’Architecture

Croquis, Piscine « das Marés», Leça da Palmeira, Portugal (1961-1966), Álvaro Siza © Atelier d’Álvaro Siza/Centre Canadien d’Architecture

Piscine « das Marés», Leça da Palmeira, Portugal (1961-1966), Álvaro Siza © photo: Luís Ferreira Alves

Piscine « das Marés», Leça da Palmeira, Portugal (1961-1966), Álvaro Siza © photo: Luís Ferreira Alves

 

This other universalism – distinct from the philosophical one, coined by the Enlightenment in the late eighteenth century-is the result of a continuous contact with the geography and culture of the ‘other’, based on travel, colonization, diaspora or migration, striking phenomena in the history of Portugal.

 

Complexe sportif du stade Al-Shaab (stade du peuple), Bagdad, Irak (1961-1966), Francisco Keil do Amaral et Carlos Manuel Ramos © Archives  Fondation Calouste  Gulbenkian

Complexe sportif du stade Al-Shaab (stade du peuple), Bagdad, Irak (1961-1966), Francisco Keil do Amaral et Carlos Manuel Ramos © Archives Fondation Calouste Gulbenkian

Complexe sportif du stade Al-Shaab (stade du peuple), Bagdad, Irak (1961-1966),

Complexe sportif du stade Al-Shaab (stade du peuple), Bagdad, Irak (1961-1966)

 

This condition both heterodox and heteronomous “to be myself and the other”, but also “to belong here and to the world” – was identified by several essayists in the fields of philosophy and literature as well as in arts, through the works of artists from different eras and generations.

 

Église de la « Sagrada Família », Mozambique (1960-1964), Amâncio (Pancho) Guedes © Archive de la famille de Pancho  Guedes

Église de la « Sagrada Família », Mozambique (1960-1964), Amâncio (Pancho) Guedes © Archive de la famille de Pancho Guedes

Église de la « Sagrada Família », Mozambique (1960-1964), Amâncio (Pancho) Guedes © Archive de la famille de Pancho  Guedes

Église de la « Sagrada Família », Mozambique (1960-1964), Amâncio (Pancho) Guedes © Archive de la famille de Pancho Guedes

 

In literature, writers Fernando Pessoa, Miguel Torga, Agostinho da Silva, José Saramago, Agustina Bessa Luís … are representative of this condition, as so are the artists Amadeo de Souza Cardoso (exposed to the Galeries nationales du Grand Palais), Almada Negreiros, Maria Helena Vieira da Silva, Paula Rego, Alberto Carneiro, Pedro Cabrita Reis … in the visual arts.

 

Immeuble « Bonjour tristesse », Berlin, Allemagne (1982-1988),  Álvaro Siza © Giovanni Chiaramonte

Immeuble « Bonjour tristesse », Berlin, Allemagne (1982-1988), Álvaro Siza © Giovanni Chiaramonte

Immeuble « Bonjour tristesse », Berlin, Allemagne (1982-1988),  Álvaro Siza © Giovanni Chiaramonte

Immeuble « Bonjour tristesse », Berlin, Allemagne (1982-1988), Álvaro Siza © Giovanni Chiaramonte

 

In cinema, the works of Manoel de Oliveira, Paulo Rocha, João César Monteiro, Pedro Costa, Miguel Gomes and João Salaviza also illustrate this universalism.

 

Croquis du Musée Iberê Camargo, Porto Allegre, Brésil (2000-2008), Álvaro Siza © photo: Fernando Guerra

Croquis du Musée Iberê Camargo, Porto Allegre, Brésil (2000-2008), Álvaro Siza © photo: Fernando Guerra

Musée Iberê Camargo, Porto Allegre, Brésil (2000-2008), Álvaro Siza © photo: Fernando Guerra

Musée Iberê Camargo, Porto Allegre, Brésil (2000-2008), Álvaro Siza © photo: Fernando Guerra

 

It remained, somehow, to conduct this research in the field of architecture. Through the work of renowned architects as Fernando Távora, Alberto Pessoa, Tainha Manual, Pancho Guedes, Nuno Teotónio Pereira, Nuno Portas, Álvaro Siza, Alcino Soutinho, Eduardo Souto de Moura, Joao Luis Carrilho da Graça, Manuel Graça Dias and some of the most promising designers of recent decades, such as Manuel and Francisco Aires Mateus, Paulo David, Paula Santos, João Mendes Ribeiro, Cristina Guedes and Francisco Vieira de Campos, the exhibition aims to bring together different architects in this (alter) universalism.

 

Croquis de l’immeuble « Bonjour tristesse », Berlin, Allemagne (1982-1988), Álvaro Siza © Atelier d’Álvaro Siza/Centre Canadien d’Architecture

Croquis de l’immeuble « Bonjour tristesse », Berlin, Allemagne (1982-1988), Álvaro Siza © Atelier d’Álvaro Siza/Centre Canadien d’Architecture

Croquis du quartier de la Malagueira, Évora, Portugal (1977), Álvaro Siza © Archive d’Álvaro Siza

Croquis du quartier de la Malagueira, Évora, Portugal (1977), Álvaro Siza © Archive d’Álvaro Siza

Quartier « Casal das Figueiras», saal  Lisbonne et Centre Sud, Portugal (1972-1979),  Gonçalo Byrne © photo: Atelier de Gonçalo Byrne

Quartier « Casal das Figueiras», saal Lisbonne et Centre Sud, Portugal (1972-1979), Gonçalo Byrne © photo: Atelier de Gonçalo Byrne

Hotel « do Mar », Sesimbra, Portugal (1959-1963/1965-1971), Francisco  Conceição Silva © Atelier de Manuel Tainha

Hotel « do Mar », Sesimbra, Portugal (1959-1963/1965-1971), Francisco Conceição Silva © Atelier de Manuel Tainha

 

This classification does not refer to a stream at a school or style, but in particular ethics, a dialogue with the world that has allowed these different generations of architects to consider the universal as a “room without walls “- to remember the words of Miguel Torga, in 1989.

 

Casa das Histórias Paula Rego, Cascais, Portugal (2006-2009), Eduardo Souto de Moura © photo: Luís Ferreira Alves

Casa das Histórias Paula Rego, Cascais, Portugal (2006-2009), Eduardo Souto de Moura © photo: Luís Ferreira Alves

Mairie de Matosinhos, Portugal (1980-1987), Alcino Soutinho © photo: Fernando Guerra

Mairie de Matosinhos, Portugal (1980-1987), Alcino Soutinho © photo: Fernando Guerra

Teatro Azul (Théâtre bleu), Théâtre Municipal de Almada, Portugal (1998-2005), Manuel Graça Dias, Egas José Vieira  et Gonçalo Afonso Dias © photo : Fernando Guerra

Teatro Azul (Théâtre bleu), Théâtre Municipal de Almada, Portugal (1998-2005), Manuel Graça Dias, Egas José Vieira et Gonçalo Afonso Dias © photo : Fernando Guerra

 

The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation is a Portuguese private institution of public utility whose statutory aims are in the fields of arts, charity, education and science. Created by a clause in Calouste Sarkis Gulbenkian’s will, the Foundation’s statutes were approved in 1956.

At work for over 50 years, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation stands out as one of the most important of European foundations undertaking a vast range of activities both in Portugal and internationally and ranging from implementing its own projects, in partnership with other entities, or through the awarding of grants and subsidies. The Foundation runs delegations in Paris and London, the cities in which Calouste Gulbenkian lived.

 

Stade municipal, Braga, Portugal (2000-2004), Eduardo Souto de Moura © photo : Luís Ferreira Alves

Stade municipal, Braga, Portugal (2000-2004), Eduardo Souto de Moura © photo : Luís Ferreira Alves

École supérieure de communication, Lisbonne, Portugal  (1988-1993), João Luís Carrilho da Graça © photo : Fernando Guerra

École supérieure de communication, Lisbonne, Portugal (1988-1993), João Luís Carrilho da Graça © photo : Maria Timóteo

Maison à Ovar, Portugal (2010-2013), Paula Santos © photo : Nelson Garrido

Maison à Ovar, Portugal (2010-2013), Paula Santos © photo : Nelson Garrido

Maison à Ovar, Portugal (2010-2013), Paula Santos © photo : Nelson Garrido

Maison à Ovar, Portugal (2010-2013), Paula Santos © photo : Nelson Garrido


 

News source: Gulbenkian Foundation
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