Showing posts with label Architecture. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Architecture. Show all posts

Thursday, February 03, 2011


Like no other institution in Germany, the Bauhaus represents the modern age in the 20th century. The cultural heritage of the Bauhaus is preserved in Germany by three institutions, which are located at the historic sites of its work. The Bauhaus-Archiv / Museum für Gestaltung in Berlin, the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation and the Foundation of Weimar Classics are joint publishers of the web portal.

Bauhaus 1919-1933

The Bauhaus occupies a place of its own in the history of 20th century culture, architecture, design, art and new media. One of the first schools of design, it brought together a number of the most outstanding contemporary architects and artists and was not only an innovative training centre but also a place of production and a focus of international debate. At a time when industrial society was in the grip of a crisis, the Bauhaus stood almost alone in asking how the modernisation process could be mastered by means of design.

Founded in Weimar in 1919, the Bauhaus rallied masters and students who sought to reverse the split between art and production by returning to the crafts as the foundation of all artistic activity and developing exemplary designs for objects and spaces that were to form part of a more human future society. Following intense internal debate, in 1923 the Bauhaus turned its attention to industry under its founder and first director Walter Gropius (1883–1969). The major exhibition which opened in 1923, reflecting the revised principle of art and technology as a new unity, spanned the full spectrum of Bauhaus work. The Haus Am Horn provided a glimpse of a residential building of the future.

In 1924 funding for the Bauhaus was cut so drastically at the instigation of conservative forces that it had to seek a new home. The Bauhaus moved to Dessau at a time of rising economic fortunes, becoming the municipally funded School of Design. Almost all masters moved with it. Former students became junior masters in charge of the workshops. Famous works of art and architecture and influential designs were produced in Dessau in the years from 1926 to 1932.

Walter Gropius resigned as director on 1st April 1928 under the pressure of constant struggles for the Bauhaus survival. He was succeeded by the Swiss architect Hannes Meyer (1889–1954) whose work sought to shape a harmonious society. Cost-cutting industrial mass production was to make products affordable for the masses. Despite his successes, Hannes Meyer’s Marxist convictions became a problem for the city council amidst the political turbulence of Germany in 1929, and the following year he was removed from his post.

Under Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1886–1969) the Bauhaus developed from 1930 into a technical school of architecture with subsidiary art and workshop departments. After the Nazis became the biggest party in Dessau at the elections, the Bauhaus was forced to move in September 1932. It moved to Berlin but only lasted for a short time longer. The Bauhaus dissolved itself under pressure from the Nazis in 1933.

Bauhaus and German modernism

Defeat in World War I, the fall of the German monarchy and the abolition of censorship under the new, liberal Weimar Republic allowed an upsurge of radical experimentation in all the arts, previously suppressed by the old regime. Many Germans of left-wing views were influenced by the cultural experimentation that followed the Russian Revolution, such as constructivism. Such influences can be overstated: Gropius himself did not share these radical views, and said that Bauhaus was entirely apolitical. Just as important was the influence of the 19th century English designer William Morris, who had argued that art should meet the needs of society and that there should be no distinction between form and function. Thus the Bauhaus style, also known as the International Style, was marked by the absence of ornamentation and by harmony between the function of an object or a building and its design.

However, the most important influence on Bauhaus was modernism, a cultural movement whose origins lay as far back as the 1880s, and which had already made its presence felt in Germany before the World War, despite the prevailing conservatism. The design innovations commonly associated with Gropius and the Bauhaus—the radically simplified forms, the rationality and functionality, and the idea that mass-production was reconcilable with the individual artistic spirit—were already partly developed in Germany before the Bauhaus was founded. The German national designers' organization Deutscher Werkbund was formed in 1907 by Hermann Muthesius to harness the new potentials of mass production, with a mind towards preserving Germany's economic competitiveness with England. In its first seven years, the Werkbund came to be regarded as the authoritative body on questions of design in Germany, and was copied in other countries. Many fundamental questions of craftsmanship vs. mass production, the relationship of usefulness and beauty, the practical purpose of formal beauty in a commonplace object, and whether or not a single proper form could exist, were argued out among its 1,870 members (by 1914).

The entire movement of German architectural modernism was known as Neues Bauen. Beginning in June 1907, Peter Behrens' pioneering industrial design work for the German electrical company AEG successfully integrated art and mass production on a large scale. He designed consumer products, standardized parts, created clean-lined designs for the company's graphics, developed a consistent corporate identity, built the modernist landmark AEG Turbine Factory, and made full use of newly developed materials such as poured concrete and exposed steel. Behrens was a founding member of the Werkbund, and both Walter Gropius and Adolf Meier worked for him in this period.

The Bauhaus was founded at a time when the German zeitgeist ("spirit of the times") had turned from emotional Expressionism to the matter-of-fact New Objectivity. An entire group of working architects, including Erich Mendelsohn, Bruno Taut and Hans Poelzig, turned away from fanciful experimentation, and turned toward rational, functional, sometimes standardized building. Beyond the Bauhaus, many other significant German-speaking architects in the 1920s responded to the same aesthetic issues and material possibilities as the school. They also responded to the promise of a "minimal dwelling" written into the new Weimar Constitution. Ernst May, Bruno Taut, and Martin Wagner, among others, built large housing blocks in Frankfurt and Berlin. The acceptance of modernist design into everyday life was the subject of publicity campaigns, well-attended public exhibitions like the Weissenhof Estate, films, and sometimes fierce public debate.


The school was founded by Walter Gropius in Weimar in 1919 as a merger of the Grand Ducal School of Arts and Crafts and the Weimar Academy of Fine Art. Its roots lay in the arts and crafts school founded by the Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach in 1906 and directed by Belgian Art Nouveau architect Henry van de Velde. When van de Velde was forced to resign in 1915 because he was Belgian, he suggested Gropius, Hermann Obrist and August Endell as possible successors. In 1919, after delays caused by the destruction of World War I and a lengthy debate over who should and socio-economic reconciliation of the fine arts and the applied arts (an issue which remained a defining one throughout the school's existence), Gropius was made the director of a new institution integrating the two called the Bauhaus. In the pamphlet for an April 1919 exhibition entitled "Exhibition of Unknown Architects", Gropius proclaimed his goal as being "to create a new guild of craftsmen, without the class distinctions which raise an arrogant barrier between craftsman and artist." Gropius' neologism Bauhaus references both building and the Bauhütte, a premodern guild of stonemasons. The early intention was for the Bauhaus to be a combined architecture school, crafts school, and academy of the arts. In 1919 Swiss painter Johannes Itten, German-American painter Lyonel Feininger, and German sculptor Gerhard Marcks, along with Gropius, comprised the faculty of the Bauhaus. By the following year their ranks had grown to include German painter, sculptor and designer Oskar Schlemmer who headed the theater workshop, and Swiss painter Paul Klee, joined in 1922 by Russian painter Wassily Kandinsky. A tumultuous year at the Bauhaus, 1922 also saw the move of Dutch painter Theo van Doesburg to Weimar to promote De Stijl ("The Style"), and a visit to the Bauhaus by Russian Constructivist artist and architect El Lissitzky.

From 1919 to 1922 the school was shaped by the pedagogical and aesthetic ideas of Johannes Itten, who taught the Vorkurs or 'preliminary course' that was the introduction to the ideas of the Bauhaus. Itten was heavily influenced in his teaching by the ideas of Franz Cižek and Friedrich Wilhelm August Fröbel. He was also influenced in respect to aesthetics by the work of the Blaue Reiter group in Munich as well as the work of Austrian Expressionist Oskar Kokoschka. The influence of German Expressionism favoured by Itten was analogous in some ways to the fine arts side of the ongoing debate. This influence culminated with the addition of Der Blaue Reiter founding member Wassily Kandinsky to the faculty and ended when Itten resigned in late 1922. Itten was replaced by the Hungarian designer László Moholy-Nagy, who rewrote the Vorkurs with a leaning towards the New Objectivity favored by Gropius, which was analogous in some ways to the applied arts side of the debate. Although this shift was an important one, it did not represent a radical break from the past so much as a small step in a broader, more gradual socio-economic movement that had been going on at least since 1907 when van de Velde had argued for a craft basis for design while Hermann Muthesius had begun implementing industrial prototypes.

Gropius was not necessarily against Expressionism, and in fact himself in the same 1919 pamphlet proclaiming this "new guild of craftsmen, without the class snobbery," described "painting and sculpture rising to heaven out of the hands of a million craftsmen, the crystal symbol of the new faith of the future." By 1923 however, Gropius was no longer evoking images of soaring Romanesque cathedrals and the craft-driven aesthetic of the "Völkisch movement", instead declaring "we want an architecture adapted to our world of machines, radios and fast cars." Gropius argued that a new period of history had begun with the end of the war. He wanted to create a new architectural style to reflect this new era. His style in architecture and consumer goods was to be functional, cheap and consistent with mass production. To these ends, Gropius wanted to reunite art and craft to arrive at high-end functional products with artistic pretensions. The Bauhaus issued a magazine called Bauhaus and a series of books called "Bauhausbücher". Since the country lacked the quantity of raw materials that the United States and Great Britain had, they had to rely on the proficiency of its skilled labor force and ability to export innovative and high quality goods. Therefore designers were needed and so was a new type of art education. The school's philosophy stated that the artist should be trained to work with the industry.

Weimar was in the German state of Thuringia, and the Bauhaus school received state support from the Social Democrat-controlled Thuringian state government. From 1923 the school in Weimar came under political pressure from right-wing circles, until on December 26, 1924 it issued a press release accusing the government and setting the closure of the school for the end of March 1925. In February 1924, the Social Democrats lost control of the state parliament to the Nationalists.The Ministry of Education placed the staff on six-month contracts and cut the school's funding in half. They had already been looking for alternative sources of funding. After the Bauhaus moved to Dessau, a school of industrial design with teachers and staff less antagonistic to the conservative political regime remained in Weimar. This school was eventually known as the Technical University of Architecture and Civil Engineering, and in 1996 changed its name to Bauhaus University Weimar.


Gropius's design for the Dessau facilities was a return to the futuristic Gropius of 1914 that had more in common with the International style lines of the Fagus Factory than the stripped down Neo-classical of the Werkbund pavilion or the Völkisch Sommerfeld House. The Dessau years saw a remarkable change in direction for the school. According to Elaine Hoffman, Gropius had approached the Dutch architect Mart Stam to run the newly-founded architecture program, and when Stam declined the position, Gropius turned to Stam's friend and colleague in the ABC group, Hannes Meyer.

Meyer became director when Gropius resigned in February 1928, and brought the Bauhaus its two most significant building commissions, both of which still exist: five apartment buildings in the city of Dessau, and the headquarters of the Federal School of the German Trade Unions (ADGB) in Bernau. Meyer favored measurements and calculations in his presentations to clients, along with the use of off-the-shelf architectural components to reduce costs, and this approach proved attractive to potential clients. The school turned its first profit under his leadership in 1929.

But Meyer also generated a great deal of conflict. As a radical functionalist, he had no patience with the aesthetic program, and forced the resignations of Herbert Bayer, Marcel Breuer, and other long-time instructors. As a vocal Communist, he encouraged the formation of a communist student organization. In the increasingly dangerous political atmosphere, this became a threat to the existence of the Dessau school. Gropius fired him in the summer of 1930.


Although neither the Nazi Party nor Hitler himself had a cohesive architectural policy before they came to power in 1933, Nazi writers like Wilhelm Frick and Alfred Rosenberg had already labeled the Bauhaus "un-German" and criticized its modernist styles, deliberately generating public controversy over issues like flat roofs. Increasingly through the early 1930s, they characterized the Bauhaus as a front for communists and social liberals. Indeed, a number of communist students loyal to Meyer moved to the Soviet Union when he was fired in 1930.

Even before the Nazis came to power, political pressure on Bauhaus had increased. The Nazi movement, from nearly the start, denounced the Bauhaus for its "degenerate art", and the Nazi regime was determined to crack down on what it saw as the foreign, probably Jewish influences of "cosmopolitan modernism." Despite Gropius's protestations that as a war veteran and a patriot his work had no subversive political intent, the Berlin Bauhaus was pressured to close in April 1933. Emigrants did succeed, however, in spreading the concepts of the Bauhaus to other countries, including the “New Bauhaus” of Chicago: Mies van der Rohe decided to emigrate to the United States for the directorship of the School of Architecture at the Armour Institute (now IIT) in Chicago and to seek building commissions. Curiously, however, some Bauhaus influences lived on in Nazi Germany. When Hitler's chief engineer, Fritz Todt, began opening the new autobahn (highways) in 1935, many of the bridges and service stations were "bold examples of modernism" — among those submitting designs was Mies van der Rohe.

Architectural output

The paradox of the early Bauhaus was that, although its manifesto proclaimed that the ultimate aim of all creative activity was building, the school did not offer classes in architecture until 1927. The single most profitable tangible product of the Bauhaus was its wallpaper.

During the years under Gropius (1919–1927), he and his partner Adolf Meyer observed no real distinction between the output of his architectural office and the school. So the built output of Bauhaus architecture in these years is the output of Gropius: the Sommerfeld house in Berlin, the Otte house in Berlin, the Auerbach house in Jena, and the competition design for the Chicago Tribune Tower, which brought the school much attention. The definitive 1926 Bauhaus building in Dessau is also attributed to Gropius. Apart from contributions to the 1923 Haus am Horn, student architectural work amounted to un-built projects, interior finishes, and craft work like cabinets, chairs and pottery.

In the next two years under Meyer, the architectural focus shifted away from aesthetics and towards functionality. There were major commissions: one from the city of Dessau for five tightly designed "Laubenganghäuser" (apartment buildings with balcony access), which are still in use today, and another for the headquarters of the Federal School of the German Trade Unions (ADGB) in Bernau bei Berlin. Meyer's approach was to research users' needs and scientifically develop the design solution.

Mies van der Rohe repudiated Meyer's politics, his supporters, and his architectural approach. As opposed to Gropius's "study of essentials", and Meyer's research into user requirements, Mies advocated a "spatial implementation of intellectual decisions", which effectively meant an adoption of his own aesthetics. Neither van der Rohe nor his Bauhaus students saw any projects built during the 1930s.

The popular conception of the Bauhaus as the source of extensive Weimar-era working housing is not accurate. Two projects, the apartment building project in Dessau and the Törten row housing also in Dessau, fall in that category, but developing worker housing was not the first priority of Gropius nor Mies. It was the Bauhaus contemporaries Bruno Taut, Hans Poelzig and particularly Ernst May, as the city architects of Berlin, Dresden and Frankfurt respectively, who are rightfully credited with the thousands of socially progressive housing units built in Weimar Germany. In Taut's case, the housing he built in south-west Berlin during the 1920s, is still occupied, and can be reached by going easily from the U-Bahn stop Onkel Toms Hütte.


The Bauhaus had a major impact on art and architecture trends in Western Europe, the United States, Canada and Israel (particularly in White City, Tel Aviv) in the decades following its demise, as many of the artists involved fled, or were exiled, by the Nazi regime. Tel Aviv, in fact, has been named to the list of world heritage sites by the UN due to its abundance of Bauhaus architecture in 2004; it had some 4,000 Bauhaus buildings erected from 1933 on.

Walter Gropius, Marcel Breuer, and László Moholy-Nagy re-assembled in Britain during the mid 1930s to live and work in the Isokon project before the war caught up with them. Both Gropius and Breuer went to teach at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and worked together before their professional split. The Harvard School was enormously influential in America in the late 1920s and early 1930s, producing such students as Philip Johnson, I.M. Pei, Lawrence Halprin and Paul Rudolph, among many others.

In the late 1930s, Mies van der Rohe re-settled in Chicago, enjoyed the sponsorship of the influential Philip Johnson, and became one of the pre-eminent architects in the world. Moholy-Nagy also went to Chicago and founded the New Bauhaus school under the sponsorship of industrialist and philanthropist Walter Paepcke. This school became the Institute of Design, part of the Illinois Institute of Technology. Printmaker and painter Werner Drewes was also largely responsible for bringing the Bauhaus aesthetic to America and taught at both Columbia University and Washington University in St. Louis. Herbert Bayer, sponsored by Paepcke, moved to Aspen, Colorado in support of Paepcke's Aspen projects at the Aspen Institute. In 1953, Max Bill, together with Inge Aicher-Scholl and Otl Aicher, founded the Ulm School of Design (German: Hochschule für Gestaltung - HfG Ulm) in Ulm, Germany, a design school in the tradition of the Bauhaus. The school is notable for its inclusion of semiotics as a field of study. The school closed in 1968, but the ′Ulm Model′ concept continues to influence international design education.

One of the main objectives of the Bauhaus was to unify art, craft, and technology. The machine was considered a positive element, and therefore industrial and product design were important components. Vorkurs ("initial" or "preliminary course") was taught; this is the modern day "Basic Design" course that has become one of the key foundational courses offered in architectural and design schools across the globe. There was no teaching of history in the school because everything was supposed to be designed and created according to first principles rather than by following precedent.

One of the most important contributions of the Bauhaus is in the field of modern furniture design. The ubiquitous Cantilever chair and the Wassily Chair designed by Marcel Breuer are two examples. (Breuer eventually lost a legal battle in Germany with Dutch architect/designer Mart Stam over the rights to the cantilever chair patent. Although Stam had worked on the design of the Bauhaus's 1923 exhibit in Weimar, and guest-lectured at the Bauhaus later in the 1920s, he was not formally associated with the school, and he and Breuer had worked independently on the cantilever concept, thus leading to the patent dispute.)

The physical plant at Dessau survived World War II and was operated as a design school with some architectural facilities by the German Democratic Republic. This included live stage productions in the Bauhaus theater under the name of Bauhausbühne ("Bauhaus Stage"). After German reunification, a reorganized school continued in the same building, with no essential continuity with the Bauhaus under Gropius in the early 1920s. In 1979 Bauhaus-Dessau College started to organize postgraduate programs with participants from all over the world. This effort has been supported by the Bauhaus-Dessau Foundation which was founded in 1974 as a public institution.

American art schools have also rediscovered the Bauhaus school. The Master Craftsman Program at Florida State University bases its artistic philosophy on Bauhaus theory and practice.

Art at the Bauhaus

The first masters appointed to the Bauhaus were artists. “Countless ideas produced by modern painting once it shed its old constraints now lie fallow, awaiting their implementation in the trades,” Walter Gropius wrote in 1923. Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee and other Bauhaus artists had departed from the traditional concept of images, turning to abstraction in the years leading up to World War I, and started to analyse the laws of artistic design with new theories and doctrines of art. Many of their works made a highly organised impression, contrasting sharply with a contemporary reality that was perceived as chaotic.

The initial years at the Bauhaus in particular witnessed heated controversies about the value of art and its place in the general order of things and the school’s training programme. Wassily Kandinsky responded in the first issue of the Bauhaus magazine in 1926, alluding to the pivotal role of the basic design course taught by the fine artists: “Painting is seen as one of the organising forces.”

The controversy reached a new stage with the introduction of free painting classes in the winter semester of 1927/28. The workshops were being increasingly subordinated to functional and technological considerations, while the output of fine arts was greater than ever. The visionary unity of art and design in a modern, more humane society began to crack. In the late 1920s, the editor of the magazine "bauhaus", Ernst Kallai, remarked that the Bauhaus displayed an objectivity shaped by stereotype mass production and determined entirely by considerations of utility and construction, on the one hand, and a metaphysical attitude born of dreams, visions, pure inner commitment or paradoxical wizardry, on the other.

The fine art produced at the Bauhaus ranged from late expressionism and abstraction to figurative, concrete socially critical and surrealist works. There is no trace of any Bauhaus-specific style. This holds true for the works of masters like Johannes Itten, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee and Oskar Schlemmer, who were famous painters even at that time, and also for the students’ artistic output.

The Bauhaus stage, run by Oskar Schlemmer, played a special role. The study of the relations between man and space formed the starting point for experiments drawing on the elementary theatrical components of space, form, colour, light, movement, sound and language. The products of the “experimental stage for dancers, actors and directors” in the late 1920s included the “Bauhaus dances” in which the human form was reduced to an ideal type using masks and jerseys. Sociocritical plays developed after Schlemmer‘s departure in 1929 were no more than a passing episode.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Modern Architecture in Portugal

The "Athens Charter" published in 1935, is on the conclusions of the IV International Congress of Modern Architecture, 1933, entitled "Functional City", and resulted in a manifest urban programming, as opposed to the chaos of the Industrial City. The proposals are on the four functions of the City, Housing, Recreation, and Work Movement, measured on a human scale, where the private interest should be subordinate to the public interest.

In Portugal, in 1945, there is the insertion of the chairs "Urbanism" and "History and Theory of Urbanism" in the Courses of Architecture School of Fine Arts, introducing several concepts, such as the hierarchy of road networks the nuclei and steered zoning.

At the National Congress of Architects in 1948, an event concurrent with the exhibition on "Fifteen years of Public Works," which reflected the principles of urban tradition and nationalism emerges in opposition to the idea of a new concept of city, by three architects who stood out in defense of the "Radiant City" and "Athens Charter": Viana de Lima, Arménio Losa and Lobão Vital.

Is it not possible to understand the evolution of Modern Architecture and Urbanism without taking into account their ongoing relationship with the Arts and the relationship between "Art" that during the twentieth century boosted increasingly debates, a conceptual and critical spirit. These influences were manifesting themselves in several variants, either through formal mimicry, or by a methodological and procedural parallelism.

Internationally, there was a period at the beginning of the century, where painters and architects worked side by side with the request reciprocal links to dismantle the inherited tradition. The avant-garde movements of Europe fostered an exchange of results between the experiences of Architects and Painters, which sought to change the cultural conventions.

The Bauhaus, established in 1919 in Weimar, said in his proclamation that was created for "the new building of the future, covering the architecture and sculpture and painting in this unit, and that one day will rise to the skies for more than a million workers like a crystal symbol of a new faith. "

In Portugal, it was found that integration with the adoption of codes of the Brazilian architecture of postwar architectural elements reflecting the work plasticizers, dynamism, joy and desire for freedom. The color is used as part plastic, painted surfaces, or operated through the characteristics of materials

The ceramic panels emerge as a desire to resume a traditional finish, with strong roots in the Culture and Art Deco Portuguese, but a current mode, with a contemporary attitude of "Vernacular Review of the Modern Movement." The tile panels, with speeches by various artists, thought of as a work of art integrated into architecture, they obtain a result of large plastic force in architectural production of the 50s.

In Lisbon stand out in collaboration with Almada Negreiros Pardal Monteiro, and as a remarkable example of "global work", the Block of Free Waters by Nuno Teotónio Pereira, 1956, with a color study of Frederico George, low-reliefs by Jorge Vieira, mosaics of Almada Negreiros and stained glass of Cargaleiro.

Shopping Centre Restelo of Chorão Ramalho, with the collaboration of plastic Querubim Lapa, which together with Victor Palia, intervened in several Primary Schools.

Keil do Amaral developed in Campo Grande to regionalist themes, integrating panels and ceramic sculpture pieces, with the sense of an idea of "Public Art": a mosaic of Julio Pomar, a sculpture by Canto da Maya and a ceramic Jorge Barradas.

In Porto, the students in all courses, Architecture, Painting and Sculpture, lived together intimately, not only because they have common history, and because of the three arts are considered inseparable. There was discussion of Modernism in art, and a latent nonconformity in relation to teaching classic. There are numerous examples of close collaboration of Artists in works of architecture.

Apart from that will be mentioned in more detail, we have the Amial House, designed in 1953 by Celestino de Castro, with a color study of Julio Pomar.

Also there are some partnerships between architects and artists, with some longevity, and proven with many testimonies as Arménio Losa with Augusto Gomes, José Carlos Loureiro and Agostinho Ricca with Julio Resende, Carlos Neves with Manuel Pereira da Silva, Julio de Brito and Rogerio de Azevedo with Henrique Moreira.

Interventions of this sculptor, pupil of Teixeira Lopes in Oporto Academy of Fine Arts, a current proto-modernist, occurred in various collaborations with Rogério de Azevedo, as we have seen in buildings of “Comércio do Porto” newspaper and the Hotel Infante Sagres in a model where the architecture serves to support the sculpture, also experienced in refurbishing the Rivoli Theatre, Julio de Brito in the 40s, the interior painted plaster friezes and cornice in low relief, which also collaborated the sculptor Manuel Pereira da Silva.

This partnership with Rogério de Azevedo, also are his own in 1947, a marble bas-relief in the Rialto Building, a marble bust of João de Deus, in the Garden School of the Constitution, and a sculptural element in bronze and granite in the Garden of Passeio Alegre, a tribute to Raul Brandão.

In addition to various different sculptures that punctuate public spaces in the city, in their creations for the buildings are: the "Eagle" in bronze, of the “Café Imperial” in 1936, the "Indian" in “Café Guarany”, a low-relief in marble, in the Chapel of N. S ª de Fátima a low-relief in marble, in 1939, low-reliefs in granite for the Exchange of Fish by Januario Godinho and the Cod Refrigerator, a low-relief in Stone of the St.º António Congregados Church, in 1949, low-reliefs in stone for the N. S ª da Conceição Church between 1945 and 1949, and 1957 for the Oporto City Council.

All these examples of the work of Henrique Moreira follow a more classic model of integration of Sculpture in Architecture.

In building the Silk Factory, in the Street do Monte dos Burgos, designed by Arménio Losa in 1943, there are salient in volumes, two low-reliefs of Augusto Gomes, with an integrated approach in the proposed architecture, corresponding to two figures, one male and one female, with vegetal elements and alusive to the Labor, Industry and the Sea, recurring themes of the work by this author.

“Cinema Batalha”, Artur Andrade project, dated 1944 and completed in 1947, had the artistic contributions of Júlio Pomar and Américo Braga. From the first, fresh in foyers along the stairs, the second, a bas-relief on the facade facing side the Square “Batalha”. Both interventions provoked a political and social unrest, following the complaint of the Oporto City Council to the Ministry of Interior. The works were covered with plastic paint and low-reliefs were removed the hammer and sickle.

Panel placed without any kind of shot on the flat plane of the side wall of the building, with male and female figures arranged in three heights, representing real and allegorical figures on a background here and there punctuated by stars referring to the world of film.

On the bottom the only characters include dresses and shoes in a realistic way, constituting the symbolic support of the entire composition, in allusion to the work. On the left, next to a tree of life and ahead of a harvest, a farmer with forearm secure a bunch of wheat, and stands with his right hand a sickle.

In the center, a laborer at a construction carries on his shoulders a thick iron chain that holds his left hand while his right hand, before being mutilated wielding a hammer. Even this plan, a seated figure conceived in idealized form, displays a book, an allusion to artistic creation. In the higher planes, bodies originating in traditional design in the universe seem to metaphorically hover ethereal and timeless, aesthetically integrated combination of classicism, which is characteristic of neo-realism. "

The avant-garde spirit of Arthur Andrade does not refer solely to the radicalism of the remarkable architectural design solution to the street corner where you can simultaneously connect to the urban fabric and the highlight mode, but also the insertion of a set of works of art, whether neo-realist, which appear clearly as opposed to the regime. In this case, "Synthesis of the three arts" actually contains the very formal evolution of flight from sobriety geometric shapes using more complex than the slang of the day designated as "forms of chicanery."

In the 50s, the Cavan began to be publicized and used as a coating of buildings, beginning a search to take advantage of their aesthetic plasticity, since it was possible by the additive color and type of granules of marble or limestone used to draw diverse reasons, where the colors were separated by a metal.

The residential building in the Square D. Afonso V, designed by Francisco Pereira da Costa, in 1953, has decorative elements, in Cavan, on the tops of side walls. The ground floor, to trade, has a portico that provides the transition between the private and public space of the square, corresponding to the structural system, which finds itself in a standardized geometric mesh of the remaining floors. The existence of the decorative elements on the facades side refers to a clear reference to the Modern Movement.

Primary School of the Constitution, a project of Alexandre de Sousa, Architect of the Oporto City Council between 1956 and 58, can be observed in a stairwell, a mural by Costa Martins on blue marble, which is the technique of Cavan as well as one tempera by the same author, in the cafeteria and multipurpose, a child and playful theme.

Other examples of application of Cavan, as coating aesthetic feature, is a chalet of Arménio Losa in “Avenida dos Combatentes”, the 50s, where the wall has a side panel with an abstract design, and the “Paranhos” Neighborhood, or “Outeiro”, where its design as Social Neighborhood City Council initiative of the early '60s, did not prevent its classification plastic panels in each block, and a variety of reasons geometric figuration. The creation of the “Via de Cintura Interna” came a difficult perception more closer.

Creations by Jorge Barradas in 1950 for Atlantic Palace, 1946 draft of the Society of Architects / ARS, refer to a panel disclosed in the faience, inside, and a set of ceramic panels on the roof of the arcade outside. The mythological theme, focusing on references to national folklore and practice of grassland work, fits the use to which the building was intended, the desired exaltation of nationalistic values of "Portugal beyond the Seas."

At the Church of S ª da Boavista, draft Agostinho Ricca, 1979, in addition to fifteen glazed ceramic plates of 16.5 cm, dated 1986, titled "Steps of Christ's Passion and Resurrection," there are other works of Júlio Resende, as The windows, "Christ on Calvary" and a carpet that covers the central area of the church. This case shows that, regardless of academic training of the architect, devoted to the artistic conception, when an artist involved with the versatility of disciplinary Júlio Resende, all the architectural work earns a substantial depth.

FERNANDES, José Manuel - Modernist Architecture in Portugal. Lisbon: Gradiva, 1993.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Africa Generation

Architecture and Cities in Angola and Mozambique, 1925-1975, Ed. Livros Horizonte, is an important book for several reasons. The trail iconography of Portuguese architecture in the overseas areas during the twentieth century, 'a new central colonial', conceives of a 'vision' and an ability to deliver on those territories that the 'Metropolis' hardly reproduced until very recently. Or rather, the 'recasting' of architectural territories overseas, said the former colonies of Angola and Mozambique, was an opportunity to expose the work of a lot of architects, whose number of outputs is, on the whole, a remarkable testimony to the heritage of the collective attitude towards the application of planning and deployment of 'African space', and 'empire'.

Cycle, the inevitability that history often plays, whether it is currently widely repeated, with a new lease that will surely also relevant results.

Jose Manuel Fernandes, architect and teacher in the School of Architecture at the Technical University of Lisbon, invited the seminarian course in architecture at the Autonomous University of Lisbon, is one of the few architects with a literary work that can be considered relevant, and has written about the Portuguese architecture (and world) in a consistent and systematic in the past twenty years (at least), either in book or in articles written for the press.

Has chronicles published in the weekly magazine Expresso, carried along with architect Manuel Graça Dias - another author of books on architecture - strangely discontinued in favor of a new profile of the magazine (s) - questionable, it is true the lack of space for these kinds of texts - have always been an epitome of quality and rigor, by reflecting on the genesis and architecture for a personal reading (nay), with particular attention to all forms, styles, trends (without exception) and a great respect for history and the facts.

'Africa Generation' is assumed as a demonstration of how the work of Portuguese architects in Angola towns, such as Lobito, Nova Lisboa (Huambo), Benguela and Malange, and cities in Mozambique, Lourenço Marques (now Maputo), Nampula , Beira and Quelimane. Registration of the text, between the use of historical fact, artistic and sometimes personal, architects involved, especially in the first part, is substantiated by the black and white photographs of various authors and the very José Manuel Fernandes, illustrating the leitmotif. In particular, some of these photographic reproductions are part of the private collection of Victor Pavoeiro Ferreira ('Victor Ferreira,' my father), who was always with a NIKON (NIKORMAT model) and a tripod in hand, even when he was at war overseas. And, indeed prescient, very well photographed architecture. He had a fondness for 'framework', which the extensive collection of slides just to confirm. We were then waiting for the second edition of this book, about to be published, perhaps in color.

This work starts from the notion that architecture and urbanism of Portuguese roots, affirmed throughout the twentieth century - and who have received extensive study in the Iberian and European area, in recent years - will only be fully and coherently explained if we studied the presence and parallel statement in overseas areas.

Choosing the territories of Angola and Mozambique - the most significant time considered, among several ex-colonial areas -, this essay seeks to provide a first contribution to that study, which are to come to be increasingly global.

It is also important to note what is meant here and interprets the "Twentieth Century" as having the Portuguese context, the real or actual beginning after World War I, about the dawn of the second quarter to nine hundred. Moreover, this study focuses on the historical stage by 1975 - that is, until the time of independence of the spaces considered Africans - because obviously we are concerned here to examine the urban-themed architectural roots, Portuguese influence and cultural context, something that becomes fully thereafter. Thus, speaking of architecture, urbanism theme at the "Portuguese Africa" is mostly talking about half a century situated between 1925 and 1975.

In this work it is the articulation of historical information, published or unpublished, with more recent data, and an audiovisual collection and oral testimonies direct result of trying to organize a discussion and an initial summary of this documentation and these testimonies. It is also necessary to mention that the understanding and justification of this study is to articulate the urban experience and urban planning with the work and architectural practice - especially since many of the professionals listed here and worked in both fields simultaneously - because we believe those two fields creation and knowledge as complementary and inseparable, in a sense interactive.

A generation of Portuguese architects left a vast work in Angola and Mozambique. Held in the third quarter of the century, this was an extremely avant-garde production of innovative and accomplished within colonial African who must now protect.

Little or nothing known, nor in his life nor in his work, were nevertheless applied builders Africa's century, in planning and urban design, architecture and arts. We speak of the "heroic generation" of Portuguese architects who, born mostly in years 10 and 20, formed in the postwar schools of Lisbon and Porto, have been living and working mainly in Angola and Mozambique over the decades of 40, 50 and 60.

Some have lived there, inserted in the middle colonies, and then came to the metropolis of completing their studies.

This was the case of Vasco Vieira da Costa (1911-1982), born in Aveiro, who studied and worked with Le Corbusier is a remarkable work in Luanda. Vasco Vieira da Costa set up in Luanda in 1960, having gone to Oporto in 1982, a few months before his death. With a small stake in the Exhibition-Fair of Angola in 1938, its kick-off with the draft Market Kinaxixi (1950-52) at Piazza Kinaxixi (1953), built by the firm "Castillos" a block for servants of the State, at Rua Amilcar Cabral (Set OBRES Modernes ... 1996), the whole pavilion, though incomplete Engineering Laboratory of Angola. As their own, the building's Diamang Rua Lopes Lima, the building of Versailles, at Avenida Rainha Ginga, an outstanding building of the Ministry of Public Works, commonly known as building Mutamba (1968-69), with a strong Corbusian mainly in the grids, the English School (Futungo Fine), Gedaliah (workshop and booth), Secil the tower and House of Brokers in the February 4, the Anangola and still factory Fabimor. There were many other works that he left here, the aesthetic quality and remarkable versatility in its functionality. Vieira da Costa deserves much more than these few words, and I think that with the growing number of architects Angolans, he will have the honor that has been repeatedly delayed.

But others, then recently graduated, went to Africa "to be free ', to get his professional life in a more open and modern, something simple and seemingly normal, but they felt they were somehow denied or impeded in the homeland Europe.

Was the case with talented José Pinto da Cunha, reputed author of numerous houses' for the rich "here, including the current residence of the ambassador of Portugal, designed the first duplex on Marginal, but above all creative works and bold Luanda innovative, between 63 and 67, as the modern Quarter Hold (a vast array type Olivais lisboetas 'in good'), the building of the National Radio of Angola (Built on land where there was an exhibition, "Overseas, whose halls participated some architects living in Luanda in the 60s). The great work of this architect, in association with the Costa Pereira Cyril was the building built in downtown Luanda, Rua Major Kanhangulo Opened in 1958, which is work still to take, within a certain period of architecture in colonial Africa.

José Pinto da Cunha was the son of one of the most repressive faculty of the School of Fine Arts in Lisbon, which came to lead an authentic "forced migration" of students, collectively leaded in 42, to complete the course in Porto.

It was also the case of Francisco Castro Rodrigues (1920), the remarkable 'architect of Lobito', which generously offered their talent and professional life to the time it became the second city of Angola. Although overseen by the PIDE, Roberts managed to establish himself in Lobito on 53 and there conducted a real 'global work', whereas a slight but active municipal official. Was planner, urban planner and architect, performing for the new urban expansion areas many of the best equipment (between 64-66), in characteristically light and modern design, such as school, market, the airport, the elegant terrace cine Flamingo.

Only since 1975, started working in the capital, Luanda has so few papers with your signature.

Robinson was an exceptional course in Angola, as 'was', by adhesion and taste, since independence, contributing to the organization's current architecture of the young Republic of Angola until 87. Their work, while teaching at the faculty of architecture at the University Agostinho Neto, was colossal importance.

When you leave Angola in 1988, leaves at Lobito "every corner of your risk and the dash.
Invited by the city of Lobito to the celebrations of the city, returned there in 1993, honored and touched.

Already the architect of natural Luanda, Jonathan Simões de Carvalho, who also tyrosine in the atelier of Le Corbusier, is a figure of more diversified business, with works in Luanda, but also in London and Brazil. Between 63 and 65, was author, with Pinto da Cunha, Hospital of Lubango (Sa da Bandeira former) and also with Alfredo Fernando Pereira, Barrio Hold Luanda. Intervention had a persistent and continuous training in municipal planning of Luanda.

Many other writers and works with modernity could be part of this list in Angola and Mozambique, a first search, can be grouped more than fifty names of architects there set.

In Angola, still refer to such names as Antonio Campino with the President or the Auto Hotel Avenue in Luanda, the Brothers Garcia de Castilho, pioneers of the '50s, which he built in Luanda Film Restoration or the grand building Mobil (1951), the Battle of Fernando (1908), who worked for the National Monuments in Angola, of the Pereira da Costa (with the Building Cyril, the 'cycle of coffee', 59), the Louis Taquelim (born Algarve, it seems the author of Moxico Hotel / Vila Luso).

And not forgetting the most fleeting passes, but marked by an uncompromising action, such as Francisco Silva Dias (1930), which earned her resignation from the Board of Luanda (dared publicly to advocate that the planning was led by local architects!) - yet the author of the draft technical school of Saurimo, in the remote Lunda, 59 (work discovered that there are days, surprised to have been built) or Teotonio Pereira and Nuno Bartolomeu Costa Cabral, authors of a small 'mini city industrial 'Modern Pulp Enterprise (High Catumbela, Benguela - 58-59).

In Mozambique there are also a number of authors and works of great quality. Besides Amancio Guedes Miranda (or Pancho Guedes, Lisbon, 1925), already better known and prized for its unique and diverse workforce Laurentian, and other newer (Jose Forjaz, Coimbra, 1936) - there is mention architects unfairly unknown or forgotten John Joseph Taylor (1983), author of notable modern works adapted to the climatic context (Terminal Nampula; seat of Government of Niassa, Lichinga, - 66-68); José Porto (1963), author of the wonderful Grand Hotel Beira and several buildings in the city center, the years 40-50, Francisco Castro (designer of the Beira railway station) or Garizo Carmo (Cinema S. Jorge, Beira). And not forgetting, again, the authors point passing through the territory, as José Bastos Gomes (1914-1991), author of the splendid and super decorated BNU Lourenço Marques (now the Bank of Mozambique in Maputo).

What is striking in all these works, the scale is innovative and modern, with no shame, fear or hesitation, although established in the middle of the colonial situation, and in many cases 'super provincial'. What we admire and esteem is the greatness of sights, cultural, and artistic techniques of a generation of "professional migrants", who, working often in contexts of the administration official was able to launch 'new towns', full of brand new modern architecture the various and vast areas of the territories then Luso-Africans. Especially between 1950 and 1975. Because it must be said, a quarter century after management ended with some objectivity, this architecture and urbanism have reached this size and quality higher than that practiced at the same time the 'Metropolis'.

And just a situation of complete confidence in the innovation of collective enthusiasm, despite the line of differences (between state, private developers, municipal action) and understanding and acceptance of a new scale geographic, economic and social development (with some ingenuity and a taste for discovery, which is beneficial in these cases) may explain this. In contrast to a metropolitan society, who resisted modernization in 'Portuguese Africa' in the third quarter of the century it was possible to try and even food and bring newness and modernity of spaces and architectures in a period of 25 years, in fact the only context Europe, since European countries (democracy in post-World War II) had almost entirely abandoned since the colonial territories in Africa to 60-61.

During this time, ironically, Portugal was thus the 'unique case' of a nation with retrograde political system at European level which had a production leading innovator in its space colonial Africa.

Now, looking at the possible future of this great legacy material, between cities and buildings, we must know the insert (what's left, and it is recoverable) in the new context of post-civil wars, new nations of Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique and hopefully soon in Angola. Knowing the value of what is, better able to recover, reuse and integrate.

Antonio Veloso, did the project for the plant Jomar, the road of Cuca (N'Gola Kiluange), and even some buildings in the avenue, on land divided between various owners from the north of Portugal, who gave these works to their "fellow countrymen "with a strong regionalist, since the architects chosen were all from the College of Fine Arts of Porto (Gennaro Godinho, Vieira da Costa, Adalberto Dias Pereira da Costa Pinto da Cunha and of course, Antonio Veloso).

The architect designed the George Clark Fosforeira Angola and a tube factory in 1958, and water treatment plant in Gika Commander.

The BCA, the work "flagship" in downtown, is authored by Gennaro Godinho, and a curiosity it should be noted that the design of Bank of Angola is the architect Vasco Regaleira, who like Paulo Cunha (who did the work zone Port of Luanda and wide front) cannot be considered "generation African" because he never lived or worked continuously in Angola.

There is still some work to architect Troufa Real, stressing among many, the project of a bank branch in Largo Maianga.

To end this tour by "African Generation" of Portuguese architects who have worked in Angola, it would be unfair to omit the architect Fernando Battle, the only one who at one time worked in heritage preservation, and his book "Architecture in Angola" will talk another time. This is a matter of utmost relevance come to be touched, any time soon, given the eagerness with which some vested interests are manifested by the "slaughter" of buildings, which are inseparable from the sustained growth history of the city, in certain periods of its history of centuries.

One day, Fernando Batalha, a nearly century architect and very lucid, will appear as a source of studies on the colonial era, having been the only one over 45 years in Angola, working on the property.

They say it was a lonely man who at the time, defended values discarded. Was writing these memories and continues to do so every day in an office where you can see the Tagus. He is the author of numerous publications on architecture, ethnography, history, and archeology.

It all began in January. º Cruise Vacation Students' Metropolis at Colonial, with a cultural director named Marcelo Caetano, who "told him to do many lectures and essays" during the trip. In the end, Fernando Battle let himself enchanted by Africa. He stayed. 1935: "There was only in Luanda century architecture. XVII, XVIII and XIX. From the century. XX, nothing! The city had no paved streets or sewage system. He took to bathing with a bucket of holes, from where he pulled a twine to leave yellow water. "

Had meetings marked. With the king of Congo, D. Peter VII, when, in 1942, showed him the debris of the first church of the Portuguese city of San Salvador (1491), now M'banza Congo. "It was old man, but nice and friendly, simple in dress," recalls Fernando Battle, who later learned of the site have turned airstrip.

Longevity has made it a living voice of history. He was among the first architects to step on the former colony, which led to immediate calls and work done. But the stop-start development takes young people to compete for South Africa in World War II, given the lack of technicians, called to combat. "The intelligence was operating in Angola, a bridge between Europe and Africa, and 'they' wanted to examine my condition. But when it comes to authorization, since the war ended, and the architects were in their posts."

He was grateful to fate. "I did not like, despite the South African cities are highly developed. When the Boers won the elections in 1948, lived in a guerrilla war without weapons, because the population was accustomed to the English, more lenient. There was open communication between ethnic. In Angola, the coexistence was different. “He walked a lot.”I visited the sites where there was the Portuguese presence. I confirmed ruins missing information gathered. I have a list of what there was." Was concerned with saving buildings, classifying all that way, restored what they could. Had problems because he wants to preserve centuries-old homes that were destroyed in Luanda. All documentation is on its enviable file.

The great work comes after the war. "The price of coffee has risen greatly. The Americans, who did the Vietnam War with stimulants, continued to drink coffee when they returned home. Europeans also. And Luanda begins to grow with private investment." And official. "Salazar did not want Angola to stay behind other colonies. He made the port of Luanda, roads, school buildings, finance with four floors, and opened up construction neighborhoods for whites and blacks."

Time to write, so do not miss. "At the time, not giving me work, but had an office in the palace with beautiful view to the garden of the governor. There were editors or readers, but took notes and wrote articles and short essays."

The interventions were in the hundreds. Engaged in land development plans, expansion of commerce and palaces of governors, launching offices in Angola. When age 75 came to Lisbon, he left the inventory of assets of the new country. A numerical palindrome of stay (1938-1983) in Angola did - you go through ancient times and continue, after independence, to transmit knowledge as a professor in the Faculty of Architecture of Luanda.

You have to edit the original seven. "I just wanted to live up to the launch of the forthcoming book, The Historical Populations of Angola." Frail but confident voice, he lives surrounded Battle of maps, old files and projects. He writes on yellow leaves, perhaps coming from Africa.

This "Africa" Generation are also included painters such as: Abel Manta, Almada Negreiros, António Quadros, Dórdio Gomes, Henry Medina, Isolino Vaz, Jaime Isidoro, John Hogan, Júlio Resende, Lourdes Castro, Manuel Pereira da Silva, among others; sculpture, highlight: Arlindo Rocha, Henrique Moreira, Leopoldo de Almeida, Manuel Pereira da Silva e Sousa Caldas.

In 1955, Manuel Pereira da Silva designed the statue of Ulysses S. Grant, 18th U.S. president won the tender launched for that purpose by the Ministry of Overseas, erected opposite the building of the Town Hall of Bolama, in Guinea-Bissau.

Ulysses Grant was an American general and statesman, born in 1822 and died in 1885. Walked in the Mexican War in 1847 and actively participated in the Civil War, fighting alongside the Northerners, having given the coup de grace in the Southern 1865. Candidate for U.S. president, won overwhelmingly, and ruled from 1868 to 1876, as 18th President. From 1877 to 1880 made a triumphal trip around the world, where he was always warmly received. "
"For it was this famous statesman who openly defended the possession of Guinea to Portugal. In memory of someone, being large, generously learned advocate a just cause, the Government commissioned the Portuguese Manuel Pereira da Silva their statue, despite the Guinean revolutionary winds of independence, is still in place. "

In 1960, Manuel Pereira da Silva performed, "Africa", this low-relief, polychrome faience, for the decoration of the facade of a building situated on the waterfront of the Bay of Luanda, Angola. To this end Manuel Pereira da Silva improvised studio in a vacant industrial collection, on the outskirts of Porto.

This with the bas-relief of the Palace of Justice had the same treatment bas-relief running to Angola where there are plenty of geometric shapes. Figures of the Gentiles, plants and animals are on the immense work in a modern design that Manuel Pereira da Silva sought to impose on their works.