Uma concepção totalitária : “Ars Arquitectos”: cultura, ideologia e tecnologia construtiva na década

João Paulo Delgado

Research Group: Cities and Territories

Supervisor(s): Paulo Tormenta Pinto


Taking the study of “Ars Arquitectos” work as its foundation, this thesis aims at presenting an integrated view of 1930s Portugal architectural modernity. The main goal is to incorporate scopes usually presented as disconnected, such as those of cultural, ideological and technological nature. “Ars Arquitectos” was an architectural team formed by António Fortunato Cabral (1903-1978), Mário Soares Morais (1908-1975) and Fernando da Cunha Leão (1909-1990). Together, they have designed a number of significant projects in the northern region of Portugal. What distinguishes these architects as relevant in the Portuguese architectural scene is the confluence of three factors, difficult to find simultaneously: a proximity with some of the most prominent artists and art critics of their generation; an affinity with the right-wing opposition to the existing regime; finally, a close collaboration with some of the best Portuguese civil engineers. Through the study of three selected buildings, this thesis seeks to understand how the introduction of new building technologies clashed with both cultural and ideological issues. At the same time, the thesis questions the true extent of the relationship between architecture and engineering in Portugal, on one hand, and architecture and political power on the other. To address these key issues, the thesis uses two complementary methodological approaches. The first approach assumes a contextualizing character in order to secure a historical and conceptual framework. The second approach, directly related with the selected projects, is based on a graphical analysis and an anatomic understanding of the buildings.

Period: 2008 - 2015


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