Victor Palla e Bento d’ Almeida “Architecture from other times” at Centro Cultural de Belém

The work produced by the studio of the architects Victor Palla (1922-2006) and Joaquim Bento d’Almeida (1918-1997), which has been widely recognised by historians and critics of Portuguese architecture, is subject of a public exhibition for the first time.

 

Perspetiva das casas da Aldeia das Açoteias - Praia da Falésia c. 1968 Victor Palla e Bento d'Almeida © Arquivo do atelier

Perspetiva das casas da Aldeia das Açoteias – Praia da Falésia, c. 1968, Victor Palla e Bento d’Almeida © Arquivo do atelier

 

These two architects formed part of a generation that adhered to the principles of the Modern Movement and they worked together professionally for 25 years (1947-1973), producing more than 700 projects. They were responsible for the modernisation of countless commercial establishments, factories, primary schools, permanent housing (single-family detached houses and multi-family housing blocks) and temporary accommodation (hotels and tourist complexes), with their activity also extending into the areas of design and the arts.


 

Practical information

“Architecture from other times”
April 11 – June 18, 2017
Garagem Sul – CCB
Praça do Império, 1449-003 Lisboa
Portugal

 


Famous for being the precursors in introducing the American model of the snack-bar into Portugal, for seventeen years they were also responsible for the projects for single-family detached homes that the magazine EVA distributed through a special draw each Christmas.

 

S/Título [Pormenor da entrada da Fábrica Kores]  1958 Avenida de Pádua/Rua Dr. Costa Sacadura, Lisboa Fotografia: Cisneiros de Faria © Arquivo do atelier

S/Título [Pormenor da entrada da Fábrica Kores] 1958 Avenida de Pádua/Rua Dr. Costa Sacadura, Lisboa, Fotografia: Cisneiros de Faria © Arquivo do atelier

Edifício de escritórios Produtos CIBA, Lda. 1965  Avenida 5 de Outubro/Avenida João Crisóstomo, Lisboa © Arquivo Municipal de Lisboa, Obra Nº 34522, Processo 49946/1965, f. 21

Edifício de escritórios Produtos CIBA, Lda. 1965 Avenida 5 de Outubro/Avenida João Crisóstomo, Lisboa © Arquivo Municipal de Lisboa, Obra Nº 34522, Processo 49946/1965, f. 21

 

Victor Palla (1922-2006) and Joaquim Bento d’Almeida (1918-1997) met in Oporto after applying for a transfer from the School of Fine Arts in Lisbon, which was still under a manifest academic and oppressive teaching. This “pair of architects”, who strongly adhered to Modern Architecture and soon engaged in fighting for the profession, created the practice in 1946 and remained active for over 25 years.

The architectural production of Victor Palla and Bento d’Almeida has seen approximately seven hundred projects built in Portugal and Africa, but few are the works that have remained unchanged. Based on the architects’ legacy, the existing information was completed with additional ones, from private collections and public archives, in order to compile four typologies that are representative of their work, for this exhibition: Retail businesses, Houses, Buildings and Facilities.

 

Perspetiva. Victor Palla e Bento d'Almeida. Arquivo do Atelier

Perspetiva. Victor Palla e Bento d’Almeida. Arquivo do Atelier

Perspetiva do edifício de escritórios Produtos CIBA, Lda. s.d.  Avenida 5 de Outubro/Avenida João Crisóstomo, Lisboa Victor Palla e Bento d'Almeida © Arquivo do atelier

Perspetiva do edifício de escritórios Produtos CIBA, Lda. s.d. Avenida 5 de Outubro/Avenida João Crisóstomo, Lisboa Victor Palla e Bento d’Almeida © Arquivo do atelier

 

RETAIL BUSINESSES

At the end of World War II, a large number of retailers decided it was time to invest in the appearance of their establishments. Victor Palla and Bento d’Almeida had an active role in the renewal of several businesses, from snack bars and delicatessens, to hairdressers, pharmacies, banks and shops. Located in existing buildings, the refurbishment of the facades became particularly important, not only as the crowning moment of a modern identity in the urban context, but mainly because it acknowledged the emergence of retail businesses with new approaches to welcoming customers.

 

S/Título [Interior do Snack-Bar Pam-Pam], s.d. Avenida Almirante Reis, Lisboa Fotografia: Estúdio Mário Novais © Coleção Estúdio Mário Novais

S/Título [Interior do Snack-Bar Pam-Pam], s.d. Avenida Almirante Reis, Lisboa Fotografia: Estúdio Mário Novais © Coleção Estúdio Mário Novais

S/Título [Interior do Snack-Bar Pique-Nique II] , c. 1955 Largo do Rossio, Lisboa Fotografia: Estúdio Mário Novais © Col. Ana Tostões

S/Título [Interior do Snack-Bar Pique-Nique II] , c. 1955 Largo do Rossio, Lisboa Fotografia: Estúdio Mário Novais © Col. Ana Tostões

 

These architects were responsible for bringing to Portugal the American snack bar model; however, the absence of specific furniture and modern accessories for this new type of establishment in the Portuguese market led to an extensive furniture and equipment design study, including lettering. The modernity of these various types of establishments reached what we now call “brand image”, which can be identified by the attractive and dynamic environment that these architects managed to create.

HOUSES

The more than one hundred housing designs that Victor Palla and Bento d’Almeida developed provided limitless opportunities to strengthen their work. Several commissions for houses in the city, the country or on the beach reached their drawing boards. By exploring the “new architecture”, they increased the volume of the house on pilotis, used the flat roof as a solarium-terrace, designed long horizontal openings, resorted to modern roof overhangs and pergolas for shade and often integrated works of art or furniture they designed.

 

S/Título [Interior do Snack-Bar Pam-Pam], s.d. Avenida Almirante Reis, Lisboa Fotografia: Estúdio Mário Novais © Coleção Estúdio Mário Novais

S/Título [Interior do Snack-Bar Pam-Pam], s.d. Avenida Almirante Reis, Lisboa Fotografia: Estúdio Mário Novais © Coleção Estúdio Mário Novais

Snack-Bar Galeto I, 2016 Avenida da Republica, Lisboa Fotografia: João Palla Martins © João Palla Martins

Snack-Bar Galeto I, 2016 Avenida da Republica, Lisboa Fotografia: João Palla Martins © João Palla Martins

 

From 1952 onward, the Christmas issue of the Eva magazine raffled a house designed by the two architects. Built anywhere in mainland Portugal, chosen by the lucky winner, this house would be fully equipped with modern furniture and equipment. This prize was presented in the pages of the magazine through coloured images where the perspective gained huge visibility. In fact, hand drawn perspectives were a widely used work method by their practice, giving clients the possibility of seeing the future architectural work immediately and three-dimensionally.

In a Critical Review phase of the Modern Movement, the architects take up a more vernacular housing design, drawing lessons from traditional architecture. Thus, the orthogonality and the apparent modern effort give way to other geometric grids and to the use of traditional materials related to the intervention site.

BUILDINGS

The work of the Victor Palla and Bento d’Almeida practice has approximately sixty projects of housing buildings commissioned by private investors, set in centrally located and well-established areas of the capital. The architects endeavoured to address the investor and the Town Hall’s ideas, often working in disagreement with the regulations and the legislation of the time, “a bizarre world that has nothing to do with architecture” (1960).

 

2. Topo Nu¦ücleo (155 x 210 cm) Confeitaria Cunha I-IV, 2016 Rua Sá da Bandeira, Porto Fotografia: Arménio Teixeira © Centro Cultural de Belém

Confeitaria Cunha I-IV, 2016 Rua Sá da Bandeira, Porto Fotografia: Arménio Teixeira © Centro Cultural de Belém

Confeitaria Cunha  2016 Arménio Teixeira © Centro Cultural de Belém, 2016 / Arménio Teixeira

Confeitaria Cunha 2016 Arménio Teixeira © Centro Cultural de Belém, 2016 / Arménio Teixeira

 

Concerned with the importance of the facades and their relationship with the adjacent buildings, their arrangement display modernity through the parts of a whole, the graphic design, and the use of different materials, such as tiles with patterns designed by the architects. The modern roof overhangs indicate the carefully designed entrance; several recesses underline shopping areas integrated in the foundations; and balconies protrude beyond the facade.

Simultaneously, they received commissions to design office buildings, some of which for the headquarters of large international companies. The plan, free and independent from the structure, allowed for a greater flexibility of the workspaces.

 

Atelier Coelho da Rocha 1951 Autor desconhecido © Arquivo do atelier

Atelier Coelho da Rocha 1951 Autor desconhecido © Arquivo do atelier

Victor Palla e Joaquim Bento d'Almeida entre os sócios do Galeto à data da inauguração. Julho 1966. Arquivo do Galeto

Victor Palla e Joaquim Bento d’Almeida entre os sócios do Galeto à data da inauguração. Julho 1966. Arquivo do Galeto


 

News source: Garagem Sul
Subscribe here to get weekly updates about architecture events and exhibitions.