Portuguese Architecture in Transit(ion): the 1967 International Competition for Amsterdam Town Hall

  • Bruno Gil Centre for Social Studies, Department of Architecture, University of Coimbra
  • Susana Lobo Department of Architecture, University of Coimbra
  • José Ribau Esteves

Abstract

In the final years of the Estado Novo regime (1933–1974), the Amsterdam Town Hall International Competition of 1967 presents the opportunity for seven teams of Portuguese architects to confront their own reality and rehearse distinct visions of building and city. From a national context, politically and geographically distant from the heart of the disciplinary debate of the 1960s, the proposals submitted set the terms on which Portugal competes in Amsterdam, revealing in the diversity of approaches and experiences forwarded by this new generation of architects the vitality of Portuguese architecture on its path to internationalisation.

This article retraces the Portuguese participation in the Amsterdam Town Hall Competition to refute the generalised idea of cultural mismatch with the European scene of the time and assesses the impact of this particular event on the transition of Portuguese architecture to international recognition, an impact that Portuguese architecture historiography has to this day completely ignored.

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Author Biographies

Bruno Gil, Centre for Social Studies, Department of Architecture, University of Coimbra

Bruno Gil is an architect, researcher at the Centre for Social Studies and guest Assistant Professor at the Department of Architecture at the University of Coimbra. His doctoral thesis presents a cultural approach to architectural research, aiming at both site-specific peculiarities and knowledge transfer networks. His writing appears in arq: Architectural Research QuarterlyDocomomo JournalWritingplace Journal and Joelho.

Susana Lobo, Department of Architecture, University of Coimbra

Susana Lobo is Assistant Professor at the Department of Architecture at the University of Coimbra, researcher at CITUA-IST/UL and associate researcher at CES-UC. She has authored the book Pousadas de Portugal (Coimbra University Press, 2007) and the exhibition catalogue Risco Interior (Anozero/Edições Almedina, 2015). She was guest editor of Docomomo Journal 60: ‘Architectures of the Sun’ (2019) and has contributed to a number of architectural periodicals. Her research focuses on Portuguese Architecture, Urbanism and Design of the twentieth century, with expertise on tourism and leisure infrastructures. 

José Ribau Esteves

José Ribau Esteves is an architect, graduated from the University of Coimbra in 2018. Academic work led him to the investigation of the Portuguese participation in Amsterdam's Town Hall Competition. His master thesis focuses on the competition entries and their meaning in a critical and historical perspective. He currently collaborates with Eduardo Souto de Moura in Porto, Portugal.

How to Cite
GIL, Bruno; LOBO, Susana; ESTEVES, José Ribau. Portuguese Architecture in Transit(ion). FOOTPRINT, [S.l.], v. 14, n. 1, p. 15-38, july 2020. ISSN 1875-1490. Available at: <https://journals.open.tudelft.nl/footprint/article/view/3837>. Date accessed: 13 aug. 2020. doi: https://doi.org/10.7480/footprint.14.1.3837.
Published
2020-07-16