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Ricardo Aboim Inglez

r@aboiminglez.pt

Architect, PhD student at the Department of Architecture of the Autonomous University of Lisbon/Universidade Autónoma de Lisboa (DA/UAL), Portugal.

 

For citation: INGLEZ, Ricardo Aboim – When architects stopped wearing neckties. Towards the informal. Lino Gaspar House, Caxias, Portugal (1953-1955). Estudo Prévio 23. Lisboa: CEACT/UAL – Centro de Estudos de Arquitetura, Cidade e Território da Universidade Autónoma de Lisboa, 2023, p. 16-57. ISSN: 2182-4339 [Available at: www.estudoprevio.net]. DOI: https://doi.org/10.26619/2182-4339/23.3

Received on July 21, 2023, and accepted for publication on September 18, 2023.Creative Commons, licença CC BY-4.0: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

When architects stopped wearing neckties. Towards the informal. Lino Gaspar House, Caxias, Portugal (1953-1955)

 

Abstract

Lino Gaspar House, by João Andresen, initially promoted a break from the conceptual dogmas defended by the modern movement; at the same time, it contributed to the affirmation of its formal language in the single-family housing panorama in Portugal.

Designed and built at a time when Portugal was partly rejecting the modernity experienced in Europe and North-America, Lino Gaspar House represents the rare encounter between two parties, clients and architect, who were involved in an intense and participatory design process, revealing a careful reflection on the issues that marked the disciplinary debate of the period, culminating in the construction of an inaugural work that introduced informality into bourgeois residential programme in the 1950s in Portugal.

By analysing primary sources, in this case original drawings belonging to the Lino Gaspar family archive, some of them never published before, as well as the various elements submitted to the Oeiras City Council for licensing, and the testimony of family members, we will reveal a glimpse of how the process unfolded by analysing the hesitations, doubts and [in]certainties that Andresen formalised various solutions with his clients, in an incessant search for excellence and meaning which marked the process of this exemplary work at all levels.

Keywords: Lino Gaspar House, João Andresen, Single-Family Housing, Informality, Process, Portugal

 

1. Introduction

The project for Lino Gaspar House, Caxias (1953-1955), by architect João Andresen (1920-1967), was originally published two years after its completion in the renewed[1] magazine Arquitectura[2] in October 1957, along with photographs by Horácio Novais [1910-1988] of the completed work. Its publication took place in an inaugural issue of a new direction of the magazine, through a new management and editorial team, which stated “that a renewal in Portuguese modern art will be based on a renewal of Portuguese life and culture itself, on the indispensable international coexistence, and an active awareness of a modern humanism” (Arquitectura, 1957: 4).

It took (almost) 40 years to talk about Lino Gaspar House again. The first version of the Os Verdes Anos was published in 1994 (TOSTÕES, 1994), but it was only in 1997 (TOSTÕES, 1997) that it was published as a book by the School of Architecture of the University of Porto (FAUP). Subsequently, it would be on the cover of the book Arquitectura Moderna Portuguesa, 1920-1970, (TOSTÕES, 2004), in a clear recognition of the intrinsic and exceptional qualities of this work, which was forgotten by various authors who wrote about references of Portuguese architecture of the 20th century.

We will study the project under the light of the elements submitted by Andresen to the Municipality of Oeiras and to the clients, in an analysis of formalization of intentions and not of internal development of the process, also using the testimony of one of the couple’s children and one of their grandchildren, who kindly shared information and gave access to the Lino Gaspar House, thus perpetuating the very posture of the Lino Gaspar couple.

We will establish bridges and comparisons with similar projects, whenever justified, demonstrating their originality and intensity, in a process full of meaning.

Figure 1 – Lino Gaspar House (Horácio Novais [1910-1988], undated. Source: Col. Estúdio Horácio Novais | FCG – Gulbenkian Art Library).

 

2. This is the time…[3]

Maria Eduarda Medeiros Lino Gaspar (1923-2022) had a degree in Languages and would become a Full Professor of English Linguistics. Carlos Lino Gaspar (1925-2021) had a degree in Electrical Engineering, having had a career linked to the field of electricity. In 1948, after Carlos had finished his degree at the Instituto Superior Técnico of the University of Lisbon, they went to Paris, where they lived from 1949 to 1950. Returning to Portugal, they settled in Lisbon and began searching for a plot of land where they could build their house. The choice would end in a plot in Alto do Lagoal in Caxias, municipality of Oeiras, with a magnificent view over the Tagus River and the Atlantic Ocean. The option was revealing, since, back then, the Lisbon bourgeoisie, conservative by nature, had chosen Restelo[4] to settle, which already demonstrated an original and affirmative choice.

Pedro Lino Gaspar (1956- ), the couple’s third son, informed us[5] that his parents first contacted the architect Keil do Amaral (1910-1975) for the elaboration of the project, but the latter, who was in a phase of increasing commission, refused. He also informed us that because his mother was involved in literature, his parents were friends with Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen (1919-2004), who suggested his brother João (Andresen), a recent architecture graduate from the School of Fine Arts of Porto (1948), to draw up the project.

As the three of them were from the same generation, it is natural that they developed a relationship of friendship with each other and once again Pedro informed us that his parents always referred to Andresen as João, thus stressing the closeness developed between them all.

According to Rui Jorge Garcia Ramos, Sérgio Dias da Silva (RAMOS; SILVA, 2012) and Miguel Moreira Pinto (PINTO, 2020) Andresen suggested that his clients read the following works: The Culture of Cities (1938), by Lewis Munford (1895-1990), Space, Time & Architecture: the growth of a new tradition (1941), by  Siegfried Giedion  and Built in USA: Post War Architecture (1952), edited by Henry-Russel Hitchcock (1903-1987) and Arthur Drexler (1925-1987). At this distance, we are led to believe that Andresen, unaware of the nature of his clients and perhaps through one or another less successful professional relationship, tried to train and test them. Not only was he based in Porto, which made it impossible for him to create a relationship of greater proximity and control over the work, but it also allowed him to test the flexibility and openness of his clients, introducing them to the models and themes that guided the discipline.

The suggested reading indications were also relevant from the point of view of his professional positioning, showing that, for him, architecture was not an epidermal act, but rather an intellectual exercise, based on knowledge and thought, demonstrating that he was quite well documented on the disciplinary themes of his time, despite the relatively isolated situation that Portugal experienced in the 1950s.

On the other hand, they were still risky reading suggestions for those who, like the clients, were far removed from disciplinary discussions and just wanted to build a house. The Lino Gaspar couple would prove to be up to the challenge.

 

3. Postmodernism came in flip-flops[6] 

The 1950s were marked by the post-World War II reconstruction of Europe, as well as the growing ascendancy and influence of the United States of America (USA) in the Western world.

The economic, social, and building reconstruction of Europe, as well as its industrialization, were largely financed by the ERP – European Recovery Plan (the official name for the Marshall Plan), which was approved by the USA Congress in 1948.

Although the USA formally entered World War II only in 1941, the truth is that the war did not take place on its territory, allowing it not only to host thousands of exiles, but also to develop economically and industrially. Its various educational and research institutions welcomed numerous European scientists, academics, and practitioners. Architects were no exception – Walter Gropius (1883-1969), Marcel Breuer (1842-1925), Mies van der Rohe (1886-1969), to name but a few.

The reconstruction of Europe enabled European architects to materialize the postulates of Modern Movement, which they had been formally testing and discussing since 1928, the year in which the 1st CIAM[7] was held. The Athens Charter, formulated in 1933 within the framework of the 4th CIAM[8] and entrusted to Le Corbusier (1887-1965), would only be made public ten years later, when he finally published it in 1943. It would have a huge influence on the guiding principles for the reconstruction of Europe. The Marseille Housing Unit[9], the ultimate expression of the new vision of collective housing, was designed by Le Corbusier in 1947 and completed in 1952, confirming him as an undisputed master and mentor of the Modern Movement.

Figure 2 – Postcard featuring Le Corbusier’s Marseille Housing Unit, sent by Andresen to the Lino Gaspar family in 1953 (Source: Lino Gaspar Family Archive. Photograph by the author, 2023).

 

As a result of the economic and social situation in America in the post-war period, as well as the immigration of several architects mentioned before, architecture in the USA experienced a relatively happy and prolific period. Marcel Breuer, always very close to his mentor Walter Gropius, moved to the USA in 1937 and began, that same year, to teach at Harvard at the invitation of Gropius, with whom he would design several works until 1941. Breuer, who mostly designed for the East Coast of the USA, would spend a long time working on housing, particularly single-family homes, and developed spatial solutions that marked this period, such as the New Canaan House (1947-1948), Breuer’s own home, which developed longitudinally over a single volume. In the opposite direction and with a more modern statement, Casa Geller I (1944-1946), with its H-shaped layout, inaugurated the binuclear typology, clearly separating the private spaces (sleeping) and the social spaces (living and services) through the entrance. Regrettably, it was demolished in 2022, despite Docomomo US’s efforts to safeguard it (WAYTKUS, 2022).

While Breuer was actively researching single-family housing, Mies van der Rohe saw the commission of Dr. Edith Farnsworth[10] (1903-1977) as an opportunity to crystallize his vision of architecture, and he was granted complete freedom to do so. Edith Farnsworth suggested to “Mies that he design the house as if it were for himself, and that he used it when she was not using it”[11]. Mies imposed a simple program: “a weekend house for a single occupant who might at times have an overnight guest”[12]. The result was the extraordinary and uninhabitable Farnsworth House (1945-1951), one of the icons and masterpieces of the Modern Movement.

Sponsored by Arts & Architecture journal and its visionary editor John Entenza (1905-1984), the Case Study House Program (ENTENZA, n.d.) was launched in 1945, taking place mainly on the West Coast of the USA and mostly in Los Angeles. The program was a success and began a disciplinary reflection on single-family housing, at a time when Europe was mostly dealing with collective housing issues and the USA was preparing for the return of thousands of soldiers to its territory. It is also important to reflect on the importance of the program having been launched by a specialized journal, which was bound to contribute to its dissemination in the USA and later in Europe, alerting the most attentive professionals to the importance of the photographic record of their works.

By this time, the American continent was in a very positive phase in relation to Architecture. Brazil was experiencing a phase of enormous dynamism and transformation, because of the vision of Vargas [13], who assumed the presidency of the country after the coup d’état of 1930. Early on, he called for the country to be modernized and, to this end, he realized that architecture revealed the image that was being conveyed to the nation, which was why Lúcio Costa (1902-1998) was appointed to head the National School of Fine Arts, at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, a position he held for only one year.  He did, however, exert enormous influence on his students, among whom was Oscar Niemeyer (1907-2012).

Niemeyer stood out as one of the most prolific and brilliant architects of his generation, both in Brazil and on the world scene, and was the author of numerous emblematic works of the modern movement. For example, and only during the 1940s and 1950s, the following works should be mentioned: Pampulha Casino (1942 – current Pampulha Art Museum), UN Headquarters Building (1948-1952 – together with Le Corbusier), Copan Building (1951), Casa das Canoas (1951-1953) and Ibirapuera Marquise (1952-1954).

Alongside Niemeyer, another outstanding professional was the painter and landscape architect Roberto Burle Marx (1909-1994), who helped define the integration of landscape into modern buildings in Brazil [14].

In Portugal, the 1950s were to be marked by modernization and industrialization (TOSTÕES, 2015: 285), and in parallel Lisbon began a cycle of expansion of the city, as a result of the work inaugurated by Duarte Pacheco (1899-1943) in the previous decade, both as Minister[15] and as Mayor of Lisbon [16].

The post-war period initially revealed the fragile financial condition of the Portuguese State, leading it to join the ERP in 1950 (ROLLO, 2005). At this time, a period of strong commitment to industrialization began, particularly in terms of energy resources, with the construction of several dams, with Ferreira Dias [17] as its greatest mentor. The Development Plan (FERRAZ, 2022) would lead Portugal towards industrialization and the beginning of the second cycle of reinforced concrete (TOSTÕES, 2015: 283).

Collective housing was the scene for programmatic and construction experimentation, bringing to the disciplinary discussion the Athens Charter and the postulates of the Modern Movement, as for example in the Housing Complex of Cell 8 of the Alvalade Neighbourhood, known as Bairro das Estacas  (1945-1954), by the architects Ruy Jervis d’Athouguia  (1917-2006) and Sebastião Formosinho Sanches (1922-2004). This experimentation also took place in terms of equipment, as can be seen in the Restelo Shopping Centre (1949-1956) by Raúl Chorão Ramalho (1914-2002).

From a disciplinary point of view in Portugal, the 1st Congress of Portuguese Architecture was held in 1948, a remarkable moment for Portuguese architecture, highlighting Francisco Keil do Amaral (1910-1975), who would publish in 1945 the book O Problema da Habitação and in 1947, the essay Uma Iniciativa Necessária (AMARAL, 1947), the latter being the basis for the realization of the Portuguese Regional Architecture Survey [18].

The 1950s marked the beginning of a new era in architecture. Discreetly, the new generation, made up of Alvar Aalto (1898-1976) and Louis Kahn (1901-1974), among others, contributed to the end of the of the Modern Movement’s ultimate paradigm – the incessant search for an architectural model that could be infinitely reproduced.

The Case Study House program helped raise awareness of the importance of industrialization and rational construction, as well as the fusion of formal and informal, built and natural. The new generations rejected the standardization and repetition proposed by the Modern Movement, silently proposing a disruptive continuity, later inaugurated in Portugal by Siza Vieira (1933- ) at the Boa Nova Restaurant (1958-1963), in which he proposed a new way of acting in the territory and an invitation to meaning and poetics.

 

4. Explain by A+B [19]

Andresen was an architect who worked for and with his clients, always trying to fulfil their wishes (PINTO, 2020: 49) so it was no surprise to hear, from Pedro Lino Gaspar, that this project had been extremely worked on. For a year, Andresen travelled to Lisbon every week to meet with his parents, in search of the best solutions and answers for their home.

Andresen benefited from exceptional conditions when drawing up this project, enjoying the freedom to propose and discuss his options disciplinarily. The program defined by Maria Eduarda and Carlos was in every way like any bourgeois house of the time: “A large living room, three bedrooms, one for the couple, one for the two children, and another for guests, a playroom for the children, sanitary facilities, kitchen, maid’s room and its sanitary facilities, a small nook framed in the kitchen, intended for laundry treatment and an entrance vestibule. […] a small Studio, two storage rooms, garage, and central heating system” (ANDRESEN, 1953: 4). Cristina Guedes (1964- ) reminds us that in 1988 she interviewed Sophia de Mello Breyner for an assignment she was doing for the History of Portuguese Architecture course (CAMPOS; CHRISTIAN; STOLEN; GUEDES, 1988), taught by Manuel Mendes (1949- ), and that the latter informed her that her brother João was very fond of understanding how his clients lived, carefully studying their habits, in order to give a better programmatic response to their desires.

Andresen presented two versions of his approach to the program and the house. Version A, more developed and dated September 1953, consisted of a single sheet and included plans, a cross-section, an elevation and three exterior and two interior perspectives [the relationship between the interior and exterior and the living room and fireplace area]. It also included color studies, and all drawings were accurately represented – ruler and square.

Version B, less developed and clearly exploratory, was only composed of a sheet, which included the plan of the main floor and two exterior perspectives of the house, including color studies. It was hand-drawn and dated September 5, 1953.

Figure 3 – Preliminary Design – 2nd Floor Plan | Version A (extract) (Source: Lino Gaspar Family Archive. Photograph by the author, 2023).

 

4.1 Preliminary Design – Version A

Version A would inaugurate the themes that the project would address and explore.

It ran longitudinally parallel to the south-western boundary of the plot, closing off to the street to the north-east and to the neighbouring plot to the north-west. It had a bipartite façade plan, with the sanitary installation and vertical circulation area slightly detached from the services and entrance area, which was accessed via a bridge/walkway that housed the garage on the lower floor.

It already presented a geometry that regulated the project, although it was still timid and subject to subterfuge, as was the case with the main façade. The house opened to the south quadrant, taking advantage of the “rare opportunity to bring the interior of this house into intimate contact with the Tagus and the Ocean” (ANDRESEN, 1953: 3-6).

The spatial solution developed combined the classical rule with new models of living, namely those resulting from Breuer’s American experiments to which Andresen was no stranger[20] – the private area (bedrooms) oriented to the Southeast, service area to the Northwest, the living room and the terrace in the center, in a place overlooking the landscape, oriented to the Southeast-Southwest quadrants. Although it is not a binuclear house, its guiding principles are similar.

Similarly to the North American West Coast program (Case Study Houses), which inaugurated a new era in architecture, namely through the fusion of exterior and interior, the proposal also worked on this theme, with a clear requirement in the solution presented to bring the gardens inside, completely closing off the immediate outside world (street front), which he decided not to participate in, thus safeguarding the intimacy and privacy of the family [21].

Figure 4 – Preliminary Design – Facade on the Street/Section AB | Version A (extract) (Source: Lino Gaspar Family Archive. Author’s photograph 2023).

 

Due to the sloping topography of the terrain[22], the house tries to adapt, overcoming a lower elevation at street level, at this stage through a bridge/walkway that connected the street to the main entrance, where it was reached through a classic loggia, here subverted through the absence of a roof over it, punctuating an axis of classicizing symmetry,  thus resolving the slight rebound that the façade plane presents.

Programmatically, the partially basement floor[23] houses the garage, the guest room, the bookbinding studio, the maids’ room, as it was then called, and the technical areas. This was the usual spatial organization for the requested program – the main floor for the direct family nucleus and the lower floor for services, guests, and staff facilities.

Formally, it is a proposal that seemed to want to summarize of the Modern Movement, taking as its own the current themes in the contemporary disciplinary discussion. It was developed planimetrically through a regulating module, horizontal windows, especially on the Northwest façade, glass panels in the South quadrant, reinforcing a sense of freedom that was intended to be imprinted on the proposal, worked, however, according to a local perspective, like what happened in Brazil, where the desired transparency was protected from excessive insulation. Andresen informed us: “Therefore, a stripped SO and SE façade, endowed at the same time with elements that could shelter it from an excessive and uncomfortable sunlight” (ANDRESEN, 1953: 3).

Figure 5 – Preliminary Design – Perspective on the Sea | Version A (extract) (Source: Lino Gaspar Family Archive. Photograph by the author, 2023).

 

At the same time, it was a very update proposal. Instead of being completely detached from the ground, following the postulates of the Modern Movement, listed not only in the Athens Charter, but also in the Five Points of Modern Architecture[24], the proposal put the building back in direct contact with the ground.

Although the elevation above the street shows a certain autonomy between the walls, slab, and roof, visible mainly in the detached volume of the private area, the proposal was still far from autonomizing these elements. There is a certain unification between them, only differentiated in terms of the proposed finishes, and the independence of the vertical walls (body of services), which demonstrate total structural autonomy.

The living room and its relationship with the riverfront were the project’s major investment and a perspective of its interior was presented in the preliminary study phase, justifying its importance, and showing that the fireplace and the wall to the Northwest, which frames the piano, are already the project’s main motifs, deserving special plastic treatment. While the fireplace would continue to be one of the themes of the project, the piano’s red wall would no longer be chromatically outstanding, although it is the only one in the whole house that would be the object to heating system, incorporated inside it, to safeguard the esteemed object [25].

Conceptually, the presented perspective takes us back to the neoplastic De Stij movement [26].

Figure 6 – Preliminary Design – Perspective of the Room Over the Sea | Version A (extract) (Source: Lino Gaspar Family Archive. Photography by author, 2023).

 

4.2 Preliminary Design – Version B

Version B continues the organizational scheme previously presented – private area to the southeast, service area to the northwest and common room to the southwest. From a volumetric point of view, its main difference was the elimination of the previously existing overhang on the northwest façade (street front), substantially improving the rationalization of the previously presented regulatory module. As a result of this change, the main entrance was no longer through the previous loggia, but continued to be made by a bridge/walkway.

Figure 7 – Preliminary Design | Version B (Source: Lino Gaspar Family Archive. Photograph by the author, 2023).

 

The rationalization of the proposed organizational module reduced the service area, slightly increasing the room. The exterior staircase connecting the terrace to the southwest to the lower level appears, this time, in a “spiral staircase”[27]. The fireplace was rotated 90 degrees, becoming parallel to the rear façade, being composed only of two pillars, resulting in a double opening.

Between the beginning of the proposed building and the street, on the north-east front, a circular service courtyard was introduced, consisting of a wall two meters high. The solution seemed to us unfortunate since the proposed site for its setting is the highest in the whole plot.

The main difference expressed in this variant lies in the elevation above the riverfront, where a new formalization of the façade would be experienced, which takes us back to the Ruy Athouguia House (1951-1953) in Cascais, which Andresen surely visited as they were friends.

Overall, the feeling we get when analyzing this proposal is that it is clearly exploratory and not very mature, seeming to be the result of a momentary enthusiasm [28]. Nicknamed Brazilian House by Maria Eduarda and Carlos, it was rejected outright by the couple [29].

 

5. Portugal, today – The fear of existing [30]

The planning permission project was finalized on December 14, 1953 [31], that is, about three months after the delivery of the preliminary design, although it was only submitted to the Municipality of Oeiras on January 14, 1954 [32]. During these three months, the project would stabilize and gain a definitive direction.

Rodrigo Lino Gaspar (1986- ) told us that his grandparents were “practically outspoken opponents of the (Salazar) regime and that they were proud to be so”[33]. His father Pedro confirmed this and, perhaps for this reason, part of the subtle and simultaneously profound changes that the project would undergo resulted from this fact – the sought and desired break with the regime.

Going back to Portugal in the 1950s, it is easy to understand that most of the Portuguese urban fabric had a conservative social matrix [34]. It can be said that Portugal was far from embracing modernity and under the constraints of the previous regime, openness to values considered more progressive were negatively connoted and severely repressed. Andresen seemed to fly over this environment, looking at the world as a desire and Portugal as a geographical inevitability. Being Sophia’s brother, for whom Maria Eduarda and Carlos had enormous esteem, and being apart from the political power [35], he proved to be the right choice to interpret his clients’ desires.

Figure 8 – Preliminary Design – 2nd Floor Plan | Version A (extract 1) (Source: Lino Gaspar Family Archive. Photograph by the author, 2023).

 

A careful analysis of version A of the Preliminary Design allowed us to foresee that the project hypotheses were being addressed at the whim of pencil and words, in a growing complicity, capable of raising the design assumptions on the one hand and on the other demonstrating a growing demand for informality.

The floor plan of Version A of the Preliminary Design contains several annotations, both in pen and pencil, all of them demonstrating the exploration of hypotheses, mostly from a programmatic point of view. One example is the incorporation of the circular service yard of version B of the Preliminary Design into the design solution to be developed.

But perhaps the most representative annotation is that of the iconic fireplace, which seemed to be starting to take shape in a project meeting. The search for paths is visible. At first, the fireplace shown in version B is superimposed on that of version A, in order to conclude that it should be a formally autonomous element. We like to think that this energetic representation in pencil on the floor plan represents the birth of Lino Gaspar House as we know it today, having contributed to the opening of a new formal pathway.

Figure 9 – Preliminary Design – 2nd Floor Plan | Version A (extract 2) (Source: Lino Gaspar Family Archive. Photograph by the author, 2023).

 

The proposal developed for licensing also introduced changes to the spatial layout of the desired program. The entire program, apart from the technical and storage areas, as well as Maria Eduarda’s office, were now distributed on the main floor. The guest bedroom [36] and the maids’ room were moved from the lower floor to the upper floor, which was what Maria Eduarda wanted, reserving the lower floor for the silence and tranquillity she would need for her small studio, allowing her to continue with her work.

The maid’s room was placed next to the main entrance of the house, with a window overlooking it, in a gesture we see as a challenge to established social conventions.

The proposal that was developed for planning permission would synthesize the thought that Andresen had been developing and that in some way tried to transmit to his clients, through the reading suggestions alluded before. The Architect, in part, absorbed the ideas defended by Mumford in relation to the work of Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959) with regard to the relationship between the building and the terrain, which in his prairie houses have a relationship “low, close to the ground” (MUMFORD,  1970: 408), as  well as an awareness of hygienist thinking (MUMFORD,  1970: 421), exploring themes such as air circulation, insulation, and green areas [37]. It will also made him sensitive to the relationship between spaces for adults and children (SILVA, 2007: 39), present from the beginning in the various studies, as well as in the project to be submitted for planning permission. But perhaps the most immediate formal influence is Mies van der Rohe’s recently completed Farnsworth House and an integral part of the Built in the USA: Post-War Architecture catalogue and exhibition.

The proposal now presented was developed around its primary structural elements, composed of “four rows of columns of rectangular section” (COELHO, 1954: 12) in reinforced concrete and with dimensions of 0.25×0.425 meters, which punctuated the entire layout, defining a structural grid of 4.5×4.5 meters. From a neoplastic proposal, with its guiding and dividing planes, the project became a proposal dominated by structural elements that regulated and with its walls consigned to a second plane of importance.

The metric achieved through the structural module [38] allowed the development of a free floor plan, where the proposed circulation, including the vertical, ran through the entire house in a parallel direction to the facades on the street and sea. This decision seemed to reflect the desire to transform this area into a transition zone between the exterior and the interior, preparing the visitor to enter a luminous universe, spatially wide, transparent and difficult to see from the outside, with its blind street façade.

Figure 10 – Ground floor plan, Process 26-1954, Req 26-1954, Sheet 8 (extract) (Source: Oeiras Municipal Archive Service).

 

The spatial freedom achieved was naturally reflected in the volume to be built, where once again the profound influence of Mies, but also of Wright, was felt, as already mentioned. At a time when current construction in Portugal continued to be carried out using a mixed construction system – exterior walls in stone masonry, interior walls in solid brick and reinforced concrete slabs – it is curious to see that Andresen promoted a modern construction system, which reflected durability concerns.

“The roof and floors, with the exception of the basement, are made of reinforced concrete slabs. It should be noted that the entire roof slab is independent of the structure and will be made up of 5 independent slabs, which will be provided with the appropriate means of expansion, avoiding cracks. The slabs will rest on the structure.” (ANDRESEN, 1953: 5)

These are the words he left us about the slabs, and particularly the roof of the house. The slabs “stand alone from the rest of the construction” (TOSTÕES, 2015: 316), (TOSTÕES, 2015: 315) promoting an austere-friendliness of the house at street level.

Engineer José Maria Simões Coelho also devoted an entire chapter of his Descriptive Memorandum to describing and defending the recommended solution, informing us:

“Each slab is separated from its neighbours by expansion joints covered with U-shaped zinc gaskets. All the slabs are inclined, with the slope varying but never less than 1.5 per cent. As the beams on which they rest have a sloping top face, fillings of light concrete are avoided, which is always dangerous” (COELHO, 1954: 12).

Those were rare concerns, demonstrating experience and a spirit of innovation.

Figure 11 – Reinforced concrete details – Beams V8, V10 and V12, Process 26-1954, Req 26-1954, Page 59 (Source: Oeiras Municipal Archive Service).

 

The configuration of the roof would allow for the autonomization of the remaining elements that make up the proposal. The vertical walls took on different languages, “and were also protected externally with corrugated fiber-cement sheets on some facades, which were painted in a color to be determined”. (ANDRESEN, 1953, 6). Others assumed a language close to the neoplastic attitude, exposing themselves as glass walls, contributing to reinforce the language of the cover and the lightness sought after.

The peripheral beams that surround the entire roof, with 0.60×0.10 meters, embraced the entire building, sealing the natural joint between slab and beam, since it only delicately rests on the beams, ultimately promoting a strong identity image for the whole, especially on the façade overlooking the sea where, at times, it dematerialized, leaving the fragile beams floating on a mass of air, forming a pergola that invited the sky to participate in the house.

From the point of view of the house’s position on the plot, there were few changes. The solution previously found already pointed towards a stabilizing its position on the lot. The circular service yard from version B was incorporated into the proposal. Naturally, there was greater development in terms of the exterior arrangements, which were designed to enhance the proposal and create some intimacy to the East-Southeast, where the house was to open up, to benefit from the view over Lisbon, while guaranteeing the desired privacy to the Northwest, where the proposal had always been closed off. A swimming pool was added to the southeast and its shape immediately takes us back to Brazil and the curves designed by Niemeyer.

Figure 12 – Elevation SO, Elevation NE, Elevation NO, Elevation SE, Court AB, Process 26-1954, Req 26-1954, Sheet 9 (Source: Oeiras Municipal Archive Service).

 

We also get the feeling that the overall design was one of the last to be finalized, since there are differences in terms of the stereotomy of the proposed floor – in this checkered design and closer to the built version, in the main floor plan, out of phase, in a solution identical to the previous study presented (version A).

Figure 13 – Site Plan, Fence Wall, Topographic Plan, Process 26-1954, Req 26-1954, Page 7 (Source: Oeiras Municipal Archive Service). 

 

The proposal developed intended a disciplinary comprehensive and informed view, not limited to the topics of internal debate, but simultaneously seeking a refined reflection on current disciplinary directions.

It was following the development of this planning permission project that Andresen submitted, in early 1954, his proposal to the competition of the Canadian House of the Future [39], which is thought to be the first recorded participation of a Portuguese architect in an international architectural competition, demonstrating that he was not afraid to exist.

 

6. Inviting others into meaning [40]

The project was approved on February 10, 1954 [41] and in May of that same year the work was already underway [42], which tells us that not only was the council’s appraisal swift, but so was the development of the execution project and choice of contractor. Nowadays, such speed would be unimaginable.

The day-to-day management of the work was entrusted to the Engineer José Maria Simões Coelho, allowing Andresen, who was far away, to concentrate on the plasticity, finish and meaning he intended to develop and achieve.

The previously defined spatial solution was generally maintained, undergoing adaptations throughout the work, resulting from “the fact that it has been verified, after the entry into the City Council of the respective project, that the land does not coincide either in its topography or in its configuration with that indicated in the urbanization plan provided” (ANDRESEN 1955: 2), forcing the reorientation of the service yard and redefinition of the access staircase from the street to the main entrance.

Figure 14 – Site Plan, Topographic Plan, Process 26-1954, Req 119-1955, Page 37 (Source: Oeiras Municipal Archive Service).

 

The solution found for the service yard [43] was clearly more harmonious with the assertion of autonomy that the proposal sought, freeing up the entire built front, highlighting the construction, “which is implanted, or rather, suspended in the highest part of the terrain, assuming the topography” (TOSTÕES, 2015: 316). The ground floor rose slightly from ground level, rehearsing a levitation that made the upper floor independent from the lower floor, emphasized by the walls covered in pebbles of different shades, which we believe was an allusion to the character of the neighbouring Cascade Garden of the Royal Palace of Caxias [44]. A small circular canopy was placed over the washing tanks, in what we understand to be a respectful attitude towards those who would be using it.

The fact that the opening of the street coincided with the beginning of the construction work and that it was at a lower level than initially planned meant that the staircase had to be redesigned [45], taking on an organic shape that gently leads us down ways. Once again, the strategy adopted seemed to be the right one, giving lightness and naturalness to an element that, at first, was affirmative, transforming itself into an organic element that meanders up the hill, gently leading to the entrance landing, where one was greeted by static stone steps that gave access to the main door.

The previously proposed swimming pool was rejected by Maria Eduarda; however, the support walls previously designed for its construction would already be executed at the time of the decision, and the proposal to transform them into a garden nook, of an intimate nature and with special attention to its visualization at an upper level, both from the bedrooms, or from the platform that configured the large outdoor terrace.

Figure 15 – Study for the occupation of the proposed former swimming pool (Source: Lino Gaspar Family Archive. Photograph by the author, 2023).

 

The exterior alterations represent a growing proximity to the codes of Brazilian architecture in the 1950s, and it seems evident to us, in the various design notes, that there is a proximity to Burle Marx.

If the exterior changes were the result of adapting the project to the work, the interior transformations seemed to be the result of an invitation to meaning, in what is presumed to had been an intense process of dialogue between the parties, translating into work on the possibility and reconciliation with the new order achieved by the project.

The material formally submitted focused essentially on defining the floor and carpentry of the house, revealing paths, hesitations, and above all, explorations. While at first glance it is easy to see that the flooring, undoubtedly, marked the house, the carpentry seemed less immediate, but we believe that the large bookshelf that configures the vestibule and part of the living room would end up being one of the project’s great gestures, contributing decisively to the informal and humanistic character sought after.

The first drawings show the bookshelf in a similar configuration to the one already shown in the previous project. It would be inside the room and would be “L”-shaped, forming an integral part of two separating walls, between vestibule and playroom, acting as a (sound) barrier between the various spaces, making use of the only walls available in the room’s antechamber.

Figure 16 – Study for Bookshelf – Northeast View (vestibule) (Source: Lino Gaspar Family Archive. Photograph by the author, 2023).

Figure 17 – Study for Bookshelf – Southeast view (playroom) (Source: Lino Gaspar Family Archive. Photograph by the author, 2023).

 

The plastic composition sought conveys versatility, accommodating books, objects, paintings, radio sets and record players, defending the spatial importance of the room, free of obstacles, contributing to its spatiality, reaffirming the desired horizontality, in the search for a continuous dialogue between interior and exterior. However, this was not its definitive version.

Aware of the importance of the horizontal plane of the pavement in the proposal, several tests were carried out on its formal and chromatic composition. In summary, there seemed to be two possible paths: homogenization or heterogenization. The homogeneous treatment of the surface using a smooth material with a constant colour would have been the safest way forward, ensuring its neutralization and promoting a view of the surface.

A floor with a constant shade, dark or light, would raise different issues in terms of how the house was experienced. On the one hand, a dark pavement would promote a false volumetric amplitude, emphasizing the available ceiling height and contradicting the desired horizontality, like Wright’s Prairie Houses. On the other hand, a light-toned floor would favour its own annulment, promoting focus on the exterior surroundings, but given the configuration of the room, which was quite exposed to the southwest quadrant, it would result in excessive solar reflection, making the space uncomfortable.

Figure 18 – Lino Gaspar House (Horácio Novais [1910-1988], undated. Source: Lino Gaspar Family Archive. Photograph by the author, 2023).

 

As previously mentioned, the project sought to capitalize on the enjoyment of “essential joys” [46], and the new studies focused on the difficult harmony between interior and exterior, natural and mineral, full and empty.

Figure 19 – Pavement Study 1 (Source: Lino Gaspar Family Archive. Photograph by the author, 2023).

 

The first challenge was how to turn the outdoors balcony into a natural extension of the living room. From the first version presented, the project pointed to a solution that appeared to be mineral, with one version formalized using out of phase mosaic tiles and the other using chess tiles. The different proposals formalized and presented demonstrated the pursuit of an original fusion between interior and exterior.

Figure 20 – Pavement Study 2 (Source: Lino Gaspar Family Archive. Photograph by the author, 2023).

 

We venture to say that the door to informality was totally opened in an inaugural experiment, rehearsing the creation of landscaped and irregular slabbed areas in parts of the interior and exterior, conditioning circuits and introducing a mineral and vegetal character to the space. The vestibule would consist of a black and white striped floor, the bookshelf was removed and there was now a two-ways communication between vestibule and living room and vestibule and dining room. A water mirror was also added to the outdoor patio, which adjoined the dining area, and the fireplace would act as a centrepiece element in the space, occupying a prominent place.

In a single gesture, the proposal alluded to the four primary elements: earth, water, air and fire, in an abstract and profoundly modern plastic composition.

In what appears to be a second proposal, one senses that the enthusiasm for a radical solution was overtaken by the need to once again control the spatiality achieved, given that the previous proposal ended up not only conditioning the use of space, but also segmenting the amplitude achieved too much.

The vestibule returned to its initial configuration and the doorway to the room is once again on the opposite side to the main entrance, in a gesture that induced movement. The previous glass plane that welcomed at the entrance to the room was replaced by an opaque plane, in a deliberate gesture of concealment towards the interior, forcing one to go around it to finally reach the room.

Figure 21 – Pavement Study 3 (Source: Lino Gaspar Family Archive. Photograph by the author, 2023).

 

That was a doubly successful gesture, not only for the reasons listed above, but also for stressing the independence of all the elements built from the structure, since the plane was two meters high, bringing southern light into the vestibule.

There were, however, two other achievements that began to take shape. The first alluded to the marking of a differentiating element next to the new dividing wall from the vestibule to the living room, marked by a rectangle painted in black. The second pointed out the subtle and almost imperceptible annulment of the wall/bookshelf between the vestibule and antechamber to the living room.

That was a hinge moment that introduced a new spatiality, contributing once again to the separation between the built-up plans and the structure, and introducing the possibility of redefining the previous bookshelf presented.

The annulment of the previously mentioned wall paved the way for permeability, and the new proposal for the bookshelf reflected this perspective, which was partially open to both sides – the vestibule and antechamber of the room. The proposed opaque elements gained colour, in a clear neoplastic influence.

Figure 22 – Study for the bookshelf (Source: Lino Gaspar Family Archive. Photograph by the author, 2023).

 

But perhaps the greatest achievement is that of meaning. The permeability achieved by the new proposal reflected the open-mindedness of Maria Eduarda and Carlos, sealing the beginning of a relationship that began with an invitation to develop a project on the one hand, and on the other by a search for knowledge. It is intuited that the norm in force in a conservative Portugal of the 1950s would dictate that the vestibule would be one of the spaces imbued with the most representative and ornamental character of the house. Maria Eduarda and Carlos demonstrated that more than possessions, it was knowledge that defined them, welcoming each and every visitor with their most precious possessions – books [47].

The formal definition of the shelving unit would lead to the definitive solution of the composition of the floor. The previous experiences were abandoned, but not forgotten. Chromatically, the pavement would take on a black and white checkerboard pattern of 0.90×0.90 meters, in a metric in tune with the structural grid. It is unknown why a chromatic composition in black and white tones was explored, but we risk advancing with two possibilities: the search for a disarming simplicity and familiarity, similar to those found in the serene paintings of Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675), and an allusion to the Portuguese pavement, freeing from the effort of justifying the choice and promoting a natural connection between interior and exterior.

Figure 23 – Lino Gaspar House (Horácio Novais [1910-1988], undated. Source: Lino Gaspar Family Archive. Photograph by the author, 2023).

 

Curiously, and once again without finding any explanation for this other than the desire for experimentation, the pavement applied was not stone, as has always been supposed, but Keravin, a decorative and continuous plastic covering for floors.

Figure 24 – Advertisement for the Keravin cladding (Source: Arquitectura, 1957: 61. Photograph by the author, 2023).

 

From the outset, particular attention was paid to the fireplace. It would have been natural, and even expected, for the project to move it to one of the available walls, fulfilling its function as a fire space, removing its prominence. Such a solution would imply a formal arrangement of the house’s living space on one of the side walls, making it impossible to permanently enjoy the view. Perhaps for this reason, in the various studies presented, it had always occupied a relatively central position in relation to the living room.

“Signalling the pivotal and magical point of meaning, the site of the fire, through a fireplace announced by a sculptural catch cloth, conceived in the pure form of a cone placed centrally in the living space” (TOSTÕES, 2015: 316) was the answer given, expressed in the sketches on display on one of the walls of the house. The wintry fireplace, with its catchable cloth simulating a ripple caused by the wind, became a summer fountain, in a perfect communion between earth, water, air and fire.

Figure 25 – Study of the Living Room Stove (Source: Lino Gaspar Family Archive. Photograph by the author, 2023).

 

The living room began to resemble a covered outdoor space that could be enclosed, providing shelter, and acting as a viewpoint over the landscape. In an unprecedented move, a stone bench was proposed for the living room, next to the fireplace and immediately in front of the plane separating the antechamber from the living room.

Figure 26 – Detail of the Living Room Bench (Source: Lino Gaspar Family Archive. Photograph by the author, 2023).

Figure 27 – Lino Gaspar House (Horácio Novais [1910-1988], undated. Source: Lino Gaspar Family Archive. Photograph by the author, 2023).

 

Based on just two simple supports and clad in Lioz stone, it marked the culmination of an inaugural process of reflection on new ways of living: public-private, natural-artificial, abstract-real, normative-disruptive, in a journey full of meaning and towards informality.

 

7. The humanizing of architecture [49]

The process of Lino Gaspar House marked all its protagonists. Once the work was completed and even before the family moved in, Andresen requested to occupy it for a period of one month, demonstrating a need to live and experience the finished work.

From a formal point of view, Lino Gaspar House focuses on a theme dear to modern Portuguese architecture, “in the way it interprets exterior models and adapts them to its reality” (COSTA, 1995: 27). The insertion of the house in the plot revealed a degree of autonomy in relation to a generic subdivision in a peripheral neighbourhood of Lisbon, focusing on its plasticity and taking advantage of its greatest value, which was the view over the Tagus River estuary and the Atlantic Ocean.

Figure 28 – Lino Gaspar House (Horácio Novais [1910-1988], undated. Source: Lino Gaspar Family Archive. Photograph by the author, 2023).

 

Technically, it adapts to local constraints, improvising where necessary, as in the case of underfloor heating that was entirely designed on site [51] and in others using the import of materials to respond to the design assumptions [52].

In this house, Andresen rehearsed a response to the diverse and complex functions inherent to a dwelling, seeking to reconcile different dichotomies, such as: static-fluid, rational-organic, smooth-textured, white-black, opaque-transparent, mineral-vegetable. These dichotomies are present throughout the house, resulting in a whole that is characterized by (in)formality.

Figure 29 – Lino Gaspar House (Horácio Novais [1910-1988], undated. Source: Col. Estúdio Horácio Novais | FCG – Art and Archives Library).

 

Its two large horizontal planes – pavement and roof – define at first the image of the house at street level, and later, at the back and facing the river, they dematerialize and give way to thin reinforced concrete beams [53], revealing their composition and contributing to the structural lightness achieved. Between the slabs, “all the dreams of the world” [54]. Opaque planes and glazed planes divide to unite, in a close relationship between interior and exterior.

Figure 30 – Lino Gaspar House, undated (Source: Col. Estúdio Horácio Novais (1910-1988)/FCG – Art and Archives Library).

 

The fine detail and quality of the detailed elements show a search for constructive innovation. Examples of this demand were the exterior sliding openings, with glass dimensions not yet experienced in residential programs, with a delicate section in the detail of the steel profile that makes up the frames of the openings and the built-in gutters, demonstrating that the search for constructive innovation does not visually overlap the desired spatial assumptions.

The Lino Gaspar House was Andresen’s finest single-family house. It demonstrated an original search for meaning and the conquest of “essential joys” [56], achieving a spatial fluidity based on a regulatory module. The bourgeois matrix of the house bears no resemblance to its temporal counterparts, becoming autonomous from the canons of representation in force in the 1950s.

But while the Lino Gaspar couple contributed enormously, through their posture, open-mindedness, and willingness to discreetly break the programmatic definition of the project, Andresen was decisive in its implementation, demonstrating a willingness to respond to the wishes of his clients, proving that the reconciliation of the expectations of both parties was possible to achieve. Modern humanism, expressed by Aalto (1950) and the renewed magazine Arquitectura [57] reached rare heights, only possible when the right actors came together and worked together towards convergence. If in the previous study developed, Andresen presented a more conservative spatial solution of programmatic division, in the project to be approved and built, this same solution went through changes that greatly benefited the final solution, such as the concentration of the living areas on a single floor, including the maids‘ room. The spatial freedom achieved, still felt today in the house, reflected the identity of the couple, who never refused to receive anyone, in a genuine taste for sharing.

In a context of cultural isolation that characterized Portugal in the 1950s, the permanent search for contemporaneity that the project aspired to is remarkable, rehearsing a friendly austerity and introducing informality in a regulated society hostage to tried ways of life, making Lino Gaspar House an unavoidable reference of architecture and private commission of the Portuguese 20th century.

Figure 31 – Lino Gaspar House (Horácio Novais [1910-1988], undated. Source: Lino Gaspar Family Archive. Photograph by the author, 2023).

 

Lino Gaspar House was classified as a Monument of Public Interest in 2012 [58], in a procedure that began in 2005. Fifty years after its completion, the time has come to confirm the extraordinary process that led to its construction. Hidden from the official manuals that make up the orthodox history of contemporary Portuguese architecture, it was rescued in good time by Ana Tostões in the late 1990s, recognizing its unique qualities in private commissioning in Portugal.

Seven years after the completion of Lino Gaspar House, in 1962, Andresen submitted his dissertation Para Uma Cidade Mais Humana (Towards a More Human City) to ESBAP’s competition for professors in the Urbanology group, where he won 1st place. This dissertation presented the following analysis:

“(…) the result of this characteristic work of Mies van der Rohe, a quintessence of Architecture, a synthesis of Housing, a tendency towards the pure and abstract work of Art, and, finally, a difficult home if we bring into play human nature with all its complexity of desires and needs. And so it is that man can only understand his home if he finds in it the safe and appropriate environment for the development of all the acts that are proper to a family and domestic intimacy, and it is important that, more than beautiful, his home is human, fostering an environment conducive to the joy of living in comfort and security” (ANDRESEN,  1962: 69).

We have abusively captured Andresen’s words in an attempt to justify the proposed analysis.

“I don’t think it is possible to justify a plastic part of a work with rational motives, but only with motives of an emotional order, and as these are generally of a subjective character, it becomes impossible for me to explain by a + b that the house is beautiful or ugly.

I just want to say, not that I did it that way because of this or that, but that I did it that way, because I felt it that way.

If there is anything that pleases me about this aspect, it is the rare fact that the owner accepted it as I thought and felt it. That’s all I can plead in my defense.” (ANDRESEN, 1953: 6).

 

 

Bibliography

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ACCIAIUOLI, Margarida – Casas com Escritos – Uma História da Habitação em Lisboa. Lisboa: Editorial Bizâncio, 2015.

AGAREZ, Ricardo Costa – O Moderno Revisitado, Habitação Multifamiliar em Lisboa nos Anos de 1950. Lisboa: Câmara Municipal de Lisboa, 2009.

AMARAL, Francisco Keil do – O Problema da Habitação. Porto: Livraria Latina Editora, 1945.

AMARAL, Francisco Keil do – Uma Iniciativa Necessária. Arquitectura, n.º 14, 2ª Série, Lisboa, abril 1947, p. 12-13.

ANDRESEN, João – Memória Descritiva e Justificativa. 14 de dezembro de 1953, Processo 26-1954, Req 26-1954, Folhas 3 a 6, Serviço de Arquivo Municipal de Oeiras

ANDRESEN, João – Aditamento – Memória Descritiva e Justificativa. 25 de janeiro de 1955, Processo 26-1954, Req 119-1955, Folha 2, Serviço de Arquivo Municipal de Oeiras

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BECKER, Annette; WANG, Wilfried; TOSTÕES, Ana – Portugal: Arquitectura do século XX. Munique: Prestel, 1999.

CAMPOS, Francisco Vieira de; COUTO, Guilherme Páris; FURTADO, Isabel; GUEDES, Cristina – Esboço de Uma Ideia: João Andresen. Trabalho de História da Arquitetura Portuguesa. Porto: FAUP, 1988 [policopiado].

COELHO, José Maria Simões – Estudo da Estabilidade da Construção – Memória Descritiva. Fevereiro de 1954, Processo 26-1954, Req 26-1954, Folhas 11 a 52, Serviço de Arquivo Municipal de Oeiras

COSTA, Alexandre Alves – Introdução ao Estudo da História da Arquitectura Portuguesa. Porto: FAUP, 1995.

COSTA, Alexandre Alves; VIEIRA, Álvaro Siza; TAVARES, Domingos; MOURA, Eduardo Souto de; FERNANDEZ, Sérgio – Um Quadradinho a Menos. Jornal Arquitectos, n.º 208, Lisboa, Ordem dos Arquitectos, novembro/dezembro, 2002, p. 16-25.

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DUARTE, Carlos S.; SANT’ANA, Frederico; SANTA-RITA, José Daniel; SCAPINAKIS, Nikias – Editorial. Arquitectura, Lisboa, 3.ª série, n.º 60, outubro de 1957, p. 3-4.

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EVANS, Robin – Translations from Drawing to Building and Other Essays. Londres: Architectural Association Publications e Janet Evans, 1997.

FERRAZ, Ricardo – Os Planos de Fomento do Estado Novo, Quantificação e Análise. Lisboa: Edições Sílabo, 2022.

FRANÇA, José-Augusto – Lisboa: Urbanismo e Arquitectura. Lisboa: Instituto de Cultura e Língua Portuguesa, 1989.

FRANÇA, José-Augusto – Lisboa – História Física e Moral. Lisboa: Livros Horizonte, 2009.

FRAMPTON, Kenneth – Modern Architecture, A Critical History. Londres: Thames and Hudson, 1994.

GIL, JoséPortugal, Hoje – O Medo de Existir. Lisboa: Relógio d´Água, 2004.

LAMBERT, Phyllis – Space and Structure. In LAMBERT, Phylis [Ed.] – Mies in America. Canada: Canadian Centre for Architecture e Whitney Museum of American Art, 2001, p. 332-521.

LUCAN, Jacques – Composition, Non-Composition – Architecture and Theory in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries. Suíça: EPFL Press, 2012.

MCCARTER, Robert – Breuer. Nova Iorque: Phaidon, 2016.

MOURA, Eduardo Souto de (coord.) – Casa Sande e Castro, House in Cascais, Matosinhos: Amag, 2015.

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PEREIRA, Sandra Marques – Casa e Mudança Social, uma leitura das transformações da sociedade portuguesa a partir da casa. Casal de Cambra: Caleidoscópio, 2016.

PINTO, Luís Miguel Rodrigues Moreira – João Andresen (1920/1967), obra (in)completa. Valladolid: Universidade de Valladolid, 2020. Tese de Doutoramento em Arquitetura [policopiado]. [Consult. 05/06/ 2023]. Disponível em: http://uvadoc.uva.es/handle/10324/42734

RAGAZZI, Graça Correia – Ruy Jervis d’Athouguia – A Modernidade em Aberto. Casal de Cambra: Caleidoscópio, 2008.

RAMOS, Rui Jorge Garcia; SILVA, Sérgio dias da – João Andresen, A Casa do Pós-Guerra e o Debate Arquitectónico nos anos de 1950. In CARDOS, Alexandra; SALES, Fátima; PIMENTEL, Jorge Cunha Pimentel (eds.) – Januário Godinho: Leituras do Movimento Moderno. Porto: CEAA/ESAP, 2012, p. 121-122. [policopiado].

ROLLO, Maria Fernanda – Portugal o Plano Marshall. a Reconstrução Económica do Pós-guerra, a Economia Portuguesa Nos Anos 50. Lisboa: Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas, 2005. Tese de Doutoramento em História. [Consult. 10/06/ 2023]. Disponível em: http://hdl.handle.net/10362/117426

RODRIGUES, José Manuel [coord] – Teoria e Crítica de Arquitectura – Século XX. Lisboa: Ordem dos Arquitectos – Secção Regional do Sul e Caleidoscópio, 2010.

SANCHES, Formosinho – Arquitectura Moderna Brasileira, Arquitectura Moderna Portuguesa. Arquitectura, n.º 29, 2ª Série, Lisboa, fevereiro 1949, p.17

SILVA, Sérgio Dias da – João Andresen: Uma Ideia de Arquitectura. Prova Final para Licenciatura em Arquitectura. Porto: Faculdade de Arquitectura da Universidade do Porto, 2017 [policopiado].

STEINER, George – A ideia de Europa. Lisboa: Gradiva, 2005.

TOSTÕES, Ana – Os Verdes Anos na Arquitectura Portuguesa dos Anos 50. Porto: FAUP Publicações, 1997.

TOSTÕES, Ana – Casa Lino Gaspar, João Andresen, Alto do Lagoal, Caxias 1953/1954-1955. Jornal Arquitectos, n.º 203, Lisboa: Ordem dos Arquitectos, novembro/dezembro 2001, p. 136-139.

TOSTÕES, Ana (coord) – Arquitectura Moderna Portuguesa 1920-1970. Lisboa: IPPAR/Ministério da Cultura, 2004.

TOSTÕES, Ana – A Idade Maior, Cultura e Tecnologia na Arquitectura Moderna Portuguesa. Porto: FAUP Publicações, 2015.

WAYTKUS, Liz – Marcel Breuer’s first binuclear house is demolished. 26 janeiro 2022 [Consult. 11/06/2023]. Disponível em: https://www.docomomo-us.org/news/marcel-breuer-s-first-bi-nuclear-house-is-demolished

 

Construction Processes

Serviço de Arquivo Municipal de Oeiras

Processo 26-1954  Req 26-1954  Folhas 3 a 6

Processo 26-1954  Req 119-1955  Folha 2

 

Collections

Arquivo Família Lino Gaspar

Col. Estúdio Horácio Novais | FCG – Biblioteca de Arte e Arquivos

 

Testimonials

Pedro Lino Gaspar; Rodrigo Lino Gaspar, Oeiras, 2023

Notes

1. Issue 60 of Arquitectura journal (October 1957) introduced a new director and editorial team, made up of Carlos S. Duarte, Frederico Sant’Ana, José Daniel Santa-Rita and Nikias Scapinakis.

2. The journal Arquitectura began publication in 1927 and its last issue was in 1988, totalling 208 printed issues. It had several directing and editorial teams, and five series were recognized. First series, 1927-1939, 2nd series, 1946-1957, 3rd series, 1957-1974, 4th series, 1979-1984 and 5th series, 1985-1988, the latter under the name Arquitetura portuguesa (Portuguese Architecture).

3. One of the poems in Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen’s book Mar Novo. Published in 1958, its title is Sophia’s tribute to her brother João for the fact that the Salazar government had cancelled the order for the winning project in the public competition for the construction of the Monument to Infante D. Henrique in Sagres, which had been won by a team led by Andresen with a project entitled Mar Novo.

4. “Above Avenida do Restelo, in the neighbourhood that took its name, in a desired hierarchy of luxury housing («O Restelo» of the Estado Novo, along with «Avenida do Aeroporto» – with, to a certain extent, a contamination of Estoril) (…)” (FRANÇA, 2009: 711).

5. Joint testimony by Pedro Lino Gaspar and Rodrigo Lino Gaspar, third son and grandson respectively of Maria Eduarda and Carlos.

6. An expression used by Eduardo Souto de Moura (1952- ), reproduced here to indicate the questioning of the modern movement, which began in the mid-1950s (MOURA, 2002: p.16-25).

7. CIAM – Abbreviation for International Congress of Modern Architecture. It was founded by Le Corbusier, Sigfried Gideon, H. P. Berlage, Ernst May and many others, for the discussion and dissemination of the guiding principles that defined and built the Modern Movement. About CIAM and Andresen, Miguel Moreira Pinto wrote: “In this framework of openness, which dragged Portuguese architecture to the centre of the contemporary debate, breaking with the isolation to which it was condemned, he attended the CIAM Summer Course at the Instituto Universitario di Architettura di Venezia”, a  course that took place in 1952 and “had participated assiduously since its formation in the meetings of CIAM/Porto, led by Viana de Lima, and it was as a member of this new group that, in July 1953, he attended CIAM 9 and Aix-en-Provence and the celebration of its 25th anniversary on the terrace of the Marseille Housing Unit”. In July 1953, Andresen was 32 years old, celebrating his birthday in December. (PINTO, 2020: (Luke 20).

8. The Athens Charter was the most relevant document produced by CIAM and had a profound influence on the urban reconstruction of post-war Europe; it was first published in Portugal in the journal Arquitectura, Lisbon, 2nd Series, n. the 20th to the 27th, 1948.

9. Andresen visited the construction site in 1953 and sent a postcard from Marseille, France, with a photograph of the Housing Unit, still under construction, to his clients Maria Eduarda and Carlos Lino Gaspar.

10. For a biography of Edith Farnsworth, consult the website dedicated to the Farnsworh House. [Consult. 11/06/2023]. Available at: https://edithfarnsworthhouse.org/dr-edith-farnsworth.

11. By the time he really started working on the house, [Farnsworth] said: Mies, designed this as if he were designing it for himself, and I want you to use it when I’m not using it. So, he did” (LAMBERT, 2001: 509).

12. “Instead of a complex program, he imposed a simple one: a weekend house for a single occupant who might at times have an overnight guest” (LAMBERT, 2001: 342).

13. Getúlio Vargas (1882-1954), President of Brazil in 1930-1945 and 1951-1954.

14. “The colour photographs presented by Professor Wladimir Alves de Sousa, at his lecture at the I.S.T., made it clearer to us how valuable it is to collaborate with a Landscape Architect, particularly with BURLE MARX. […] Current Portuguese Architecture is far behind the contemporary Brazilian architecture! It seems, however, that it will no longer be in such a position and for that we will work with all our will. A willingness, not simply to COPY what others do, but, fundamentally, to EVOLVE”. Excerpt from a letter written by Formosinho Sanches to Arquitectura journal about the Exhibition of Contemporary Architecture in Brazil, which was taking place at IST at the time (SANCHES, 1949: p.17).

15. Minister of Public Instruction (1928), Minister of Public Works and Communications (1932-1936) and Minister of Public Works, Transport and Communications (1938-1943).

16. He was appointed by the Government as Mayor of Lisbon in 1938, proposing the Engineer Eduardo Rodrigues de Carvalho (1891-1970), a man he trusted, for the post, and he remained in office until his premature death in 1943.

17. José Ferreira Dias (1900-1966) graduated in Electrical and Mechanical Engineering from the Instituto Superior Técnico de Lisboa in 1924 and taught there. Between 1948 and 1953, after being appointed by the Lisbon City Council, he was chairman of the commission in charge of drawing up the plans for the Lisbon Metro. From 1940 to 1944, he was Undersecretary of State for Trade and Industry, author of Laws 2002 (electrification) and 2005 (Industrial Development and Reorganization), President of the Order of Engineers (1944), and Minister of Economy between 1958 and 1962.

18. The Survey of Portuguese Regional Architecture, promoted by the National Union of Architects (SNA) under the direction of Inácio Peres Fernandes, Manuel Mendes Tainha, Rui Mendes de Paula and José Rafel Botelho, took place between 1955 and 1960, and resulted in the book Arquitetura Popular em Portugal (Popular Architecture in Portugal), which has played a fundamental role in Portuguese architecture from the 1960s to the present day.

19. See ANDRESEN, 1953.

20. Breuer is represented in the book Built in USA: Post War Architecture that Andresen recommends to his clients.

21. The NE façade, which overlooks the access road, is almost closed off, as only a few small, discreet ventilation slots for the heating plant and storage rooms and the door to the street can be seen on it(ANDRESEN, 1953, p: 3).

22. “The rugged terrain was not always naturally adaptable to the orientation and design of the house. It was therefore necessary to resort to various earth movements, creating platforms in the outdoor living areas, or to avoid major unevenness or the house giving the impression of being buried in certain areas [NW, for example]. This means that several support walls are used, from which a plastic advantage will be taken.” (ANDRESEN, 1953, p: 5).

23. “… consisting of a raised ground floor, and a small part of a basement, with the floor partially at ground level, due to the observed topography” (ANDRESEN, 1953, p: 3).

24. “Cinq Points de l’Architecture Moderne” was a manifesto published in 1926 by Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret. Succinctly, it advocated that buildings built in a spirit of modernity should follow five points: be based on pilotis, garden roofs, an open plan, wide windows and free façade.

25. Pedro Lino Gaspar reminds us that the piano belonged to his grandmother and that it was only much later that he incorporated it into the house. The deep communion that seemed to exist between the immediate and future desires of Maria Eduarda and Carlos, with the answer given, which once again conveys the close connection established between the parties involved.

26. De Stijl, also known as Neoplasticism, was an artistic and architectural avant-garde movement founded in the Netherlands in 1917 by artists, architects and designers, including Piet Mondrian (1872–1944), Theo van Doesburg (1883–1931) and Gerrit Rietveld (1888–1964).

27. Andresen’s annotation on the drawing presented: “Spiral staircase to access the outside”.

28. Andresen’s annotation on the drawing presented: “No importance to be given for now to the question of colours and details (stove, for example).

29. See footnote 5.

30. Title of José Gil’s, Portuguese philosopher, book, Portugal Hoje – O Medo de Existir.

31. Date of Descriptive and Justification Memorandum.

32. Date of the entry registration stamp of the Municipality of Oeiras.

33. See footnote 5.

34. See Political Constitution of the Portuguese Republic of 1933.

35. Andresen was based in Porto.

36. According to Pedro Lino Gaspar, the guest room was always designed for his paternal grandfather, who travelled from Figueira da Foz to Lisbon every week. In the summer, it was occupied by his maternal grandmother.

37. “In this way, an attempt was made to encourage the enjoyment of the ‘essential joys’ – the Sun, the Sky, Nature(ANDRESEN, 1953, p: 4).

38. “For various reasons, the construction is essentially made up of a structure of pillars and beams, arranged according to a module, deemed convenient in relation to the proportions of the rooms, 4.50 m.”  (ANDRESEN, 1953, p: 5).

39. “Concours Calvert House pour la Maison Canadienne de Demain / International Calvert House Competition for the Canadian home of tomorrow” [Consult. 19/06/2023]. Available at https://www.ccc.umontreal.ca/fiche_concours.php?cId=241&lang=fr

40. “On the last page of his Master’s Lessons, George Steiner sums up the essence of liberal culture and education in a single sentence: “Liberal education leads us to the dignitas of the human person, to the attainment of his best self.” This is the tradition of European humanism in which he, from an early age, was brought up by his father. In which he himself became a teacher, when he realized that he had a gift: “To invite others into meaning.” This last expression, ‘inviting others into meaning’, is George Steiner’s own description, and the most profound I know, of what it means to be a Professor of Humanities (RIEMEN, 2005: 15-16).

41. “I think I can defer: it is a project with modern lines and a very functional exterior appearance” (Cf. dispatch of the Municipality of Oeiras, 10 February 1954. Case 26-1954, Req 26-1954, Sheet 63, Oeiras Municipal Archive Service).

42. May 4, 1954, is the date of the first entry in the Liability Bulletin, reporting that clay soil had been found in the opening of the gullies, leading to the alteration of the foundations.

43. “In this way, the circular tumble dryer that was used in the previous project was moved to the North-West corner and given the shape of an S” (ANDRESEN, 1955, p: 2).

44. The Royal Palace of Caxias and the Cascade Garden were classified as Property of Public Interest, Decree No. 39 175, 1st series, No. 77 of 17 April 1953.

45. “A few steps in crudely worked stone will replace a staircase that was imposed, with a clear aesthetic advantage, and more in line with the relief of the terrain from which we have sought to take advantage” (ANDRESEN, 1955, p: 2).

46. See footnote 37.

47. “The room is, in this way, limited almost exclusively by the landscape and the books, according to the client’s wishes” (ANDRESEN, 1957: 36).

48. Similarly to the contemporary but later Casa Sande e Castro (1954) by Ruy Jervis d’Athouguia (1917-2006).

49. AALTO, Alvar – A Humanização da Arquitetura [1940]. Arquitectura. Lisboa, no 35, 1950, p.7-8.

50. See footnote 5.

51. Pedro Lino Gaspar informed us that his parents had always informed him that when the house was built, the underfloor heating system was not available on the Portuguese market and that it therefore had to be made locally using existing technology.

52. Pedro Lino Gaspar informed us that, according to his parents, the large windows in the outer openings of the room were, at first, produced by Covina, which, after three unsuccessful attempts to produce them, gave up, and was forced to import the glass from Belgium.

53. According to Pedro Lino Gaspar, the beams were first made on site, but they always ended up falling, and the decision was taken on the third attempt to prefabricate them.

54. “Apart from that, I have in me all the dreams of the world”, excerpt from the poem “Tabacaria”, by Álvaro de Campos, written in 1928 and published in 1933 in the literary journal Presença.

55. “If anything is described by an architectural plan, it is in the nature of human relationships, since the elements whose trace it records – walls, doors, windows and stairs – are employed first to divide and then selectively to re-unite inhabited space” (EVANS, 1997: 56).

56. See footnote 37.

57. See footnote 1.

58. Category: MIP – Monument of Public Interest / ZEP, Ordinance No. 740-AO /2012, DR, 2nd series, No. 248 of 24 December 2012.