The Difficult Affirmation of Modern Architecture in the Portugal of the Salazarist Regime
Mariangela Licordari

To fully understand the phases that determined the birth and evolution of the Modern portuguese movement, with its contradictions and its constraints, it is essential to mention its intrinsic and conflictual relationship with the Estado Novo of António de Oliveira Salazar. In Portugal, the first references to the modern movement date from the last years of the Republic (1923-1926). This is a period characterized by the presence of a number of public and private buildings, designed by young architects, in which the new “modernist grammar” directly derived from the european functionalist rationalism begins to be used. In 1926 the political context of Portugal changes. A military coup puts an end to a republican regime, giving rise to a fascist dictatorial policy. The repercussions on modern architecture began to be visible, even though they were still disguised with a democratic appearance. In this first phase, the Salazar government appropriated the idea of modern, promoted by the new architecture, and in line with the concepts of futurism and of modernization present in the other European countries such as Italy and Germany, transferring it in the famous Lição de Salazar. The regime will initially support the new architectural movement, advocating the construction of some of the most important portuguese modernist buildings, until its dramatic shift toward a nationalist architecture. The first Congress Nacional of Architecture of 1948 will be an important event for the Modern portuguese movement and for its definitive national recognition.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/rah.v6n2a2