Where do I begin? I’ll start by giving you some context to understand the purpose of this. I am currently studying my masters of Architecture and was taking a studio called Housing in Portugal, in this studio we are to study the existing Bouca Social Housing in Porto, Potugal designed by the noted Portuguese Architect Alvaro Siza and redesign it ourselves.
A group of 16 students, accompanied by our tutor Angelo Candalepas, buzzing in Portugal, Spain and Greece to see everything on our jampacked itinerary in under just 10 days.
We started off in Lisbon. This city blew me away. It was so beautiful, the locals were so welcoming and humble. The streets were paved with white marble pavers over the entire city.
On our first day out we paid a visit to Lisbon Cathedral where we sat and sketched the floor plan, from here we went to the Portugese Pavilion designed by Alvaro siza where we sketched again, this time observing shade and shadow and how it works. We went on from there to the Chiado District Alvaro Siza Housing and ended the day by visiting the Carmo Convent which had an incredible view to the city.
Day two in Lisbon we paid a visit to the Aires Mateus officce where we were lucky enough to meet Manuel Aires Mateus himself and understand how his practice works and how he works. It was quite surprising that he does not use any technology himself and does not even have an email!
From here we went to see Jeronimos Monestary where we did some detail sketching. Then we walked to the National Coach Museum designed by Paulo Mendes da Rocha and lastly we stopped at the EDP Head Office designed by Aires Mateus.
On the third day we took a bus to see The Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Cabo Espichel where some more sketching happened. This was a historic building studied as a precedent by Alvaro Siza when he designed the Teacher’s Training College in Setubul. A pit stop was made at the Home for the Elderly designed by Aires Mateus. Lastly we rocked up at the beautiful Cascais which is the ‘Beverly Hills’ of Portugal, here we visited the Paula Rego Museum designed by the Portuguese Architect Eduardo Souto de Moura, this builing was by far my favourite (you can tell by the smile on my face).
Amongst all of the amazing food we had in Lisbon, Portuguese tarts were up there! And by up there I mean the best tarts any of us had ever tried! They were mouth watering and sent taste buds into a frenzy.
We continued from here to Porto where we visited the site of the project, went to Santiago in Chile to see the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, flew out to Athens and saw the monumental Acropolis and Agora.
It was a very rich experience and I have learnt so much by visiting the projects and studying them which is such a different experience to studying them from a book.