Tradition and modernity intertwining in the re-presentation of Portuguese modern architecture: the case of the Survey on 20th Century Architecture in Portugal

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Abstract

The nexus between tradition and modernity is long-rooted in the intellectual and political discourses about a Portuguese architecture identity, either as a dialogue construed as a national specificity, or as a dichotomy that stresses different actors' distinct and even opposing cultural understandings and political uses of categories of culture and time. Recently, however, the history and critique of modernism in architecture has overcome the mainstream readings of its corpus, mitigating its orthodoxy, and disclosing long-standing relationships between modern architecture proposals and vernacular settlings. Such rereading has triggered a revision of Portuguese history of architecture, in particular regarding the gate-keeping conceptions of Portugal as an isolated and peripheral country, and the political stances of particular architectural productions. This paper aims to discuss the extent of the tradition-modernity bindings in the spacialisation of a Portuguese identity in architectural discourses. In this scope, it will look into the survey on the 20th century Portuguese architecture conducted by the Portuguese architects between 2003 and 2006, as an expression of how Portuguese modern architecture is being emically construed. Taking into account its process and outcomes, and its authors' purposes and reasoning, the paper will examine its modes and hues, evaluating the dynamics beyond the production of a history of architecture and its relating to broader processes of imagining the past and culture in Portugal.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSouthern Modernisms
Subtitle of host publicationCritical Stances through Regional Approaches. Conference Proceedings
EditorsJoana Cunha Leal, Maria Helena Maia, Begoña Farre
Place of PublicationPorto
PublisherCEAA-ESAP
Pages333-346
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)978-972-8784-65-2
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Keywords

  • Survey
  • History of Architecture
  • Heritage
  • National Identity

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