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Reconstrução do Chiado [Reconstruction of the Chiado area], Lisbon, Portugal (1988-1998)

Reconstrução do Chiado [Reconstruction of the Chiado area], Lisbon, Portugal (1988-1998)

Part of

People

  • Alvaro Siza (archive creator)
  • Alvaro Siza (architect)

Title

Reconstrução do Chiado [Reconstruction of the Chiado area], Lisbon, Portugal (1988-1998)

Dates of creation

1988-2000

Level of archival description

Project

Extent and Medium

  • 11 454 drawings (including 8842 reprographic copies)
  • 1759 photographs
  • 1465 slides
  • 296 printouts
  • 121 35mm negative strips
  • 81 photomontages
  • 57 books
  • 23 packs of stapled reprographic copies
  • 12.81 linear meters of textual documentation
  • 5 packs of stapled drawings
  • 4 photographic albums
  • 2 notebooks
  • 2 floppy disks
  • 1 leaflet

Scope and Content

This project series documents the Reconstrução do Chiado in Lisbon, Portugal. The office archivist identified this project as 58/80. The office assigned the dates 1988-1998 for this project.

Chiado is a historic district in the center of Lisbon, Portugal, and a linchpin between the Baixa Pombalina and the Bairro Alto Hill. After a devastating earthquake in 1755, the city was rebuilt and reorganized by military architects and engineers. The Pombaline style, specific to Lisbon, includes pre-fabricated anti-seismic structure and sober style. On August 25, 1988, a fire started in one of the oldest department stores of Lisbon, the Grandella building, damaging partially or totally seventeen buildings, between the Rua Do Carmo, Rua Nova do Almada and Rua Garret. Álvaro Siza was selected by the mayor of Lisbon, Nuno Krus Abecasis, to reorganize and rebuild the district. After public consultations, it was decided to maintain the historic image of the Chiado by restoring the façades and ornamentations. Adjustments by Siza include introducing residential and cultural functions to the district, with the exception of the Grandes Armazéns building and the Grandella building, which had their own program. As Siza said himself: "It’s not about drawing a new section of the city, but rather just introducing corrections and adjustments, reinforce the whole city." Siza started to work on the layout plan in January 1989 and presented it to the municipal authorities of Lisbon in April 1990.

The reconstruction of the Chiado had several goals, but there were two general concepts behind his plan. The aesthetic aspect of the program included restorations of buildings to reinstitute the historical spirit of the district. The spatial reorganization, in a really Siza way, focused on finding architectural solutions that would bring more functionality to the city. The idea was to think of the reconstruction in relation with the urban revitalization of the Baixa Pombalina and to maintain as much as possible the patrimonial value of the district.

Siza's intentions were to stimulate the commercial and residential functions of the district, which was on the decline over the last years prior to the fire. Some of the measures taken were: improving the traffic fluidity; creating parking spaces for the future residents and shopkeepers, improving the access to stores and others facilities, creating a staired passageway between Rua do Crucifixo and Rua Nova do Almada, and a pedestrian passageway between the rear of those buildings giving onto Rua Garret and Rua Do Carmo. They also studied the integration of a subway station to the district. Municipal authorities decided to rebuild or restore the original facades, reorganize the interior and improve the safety of the buildings. The biggest challenge was to convert the Grandes Armazéns do Chiado into a hotel and rebuild the Grandella with its original 20th century façade, while rethinking the interior division(s?) in order to add different functions to the building, including offices and leisure and cultural facilities.

The reconstruction plan was divided into six distinct blocks: Bloco A, Bloco B, Bloco C, Bloco D, Bloco E, and Bloco F. Each Block includes several buildings and each was individually numbered. The first three blocks (A, B, C) were the most damaged, and required massive work, stonework, technical and mechanical work, replacing doors and windows, as well as repainting, repaving, and restoring decorative elements. Reconstruction for Blocks D, E, and F, which are less documented in the fonds, focused on making changes that complemented the neighboring building. Siza also worked specifically on the Edifício Castro e Melo, Câmara Chaves, Edifício Leonel, Edifício Grandella, and Recuperaçäo do Edifício dos Grandes Armazéns. The rest of the buildings were restored by other architects and firms. "Chiado" is often referring to two different things: the districts between the Baixa Pombalina and the Bairro Alto Hill, as well as a building, also known as the Hotel do Chiado. To avoid confusion, in this finding aid the term "Chiado" is always referring to the district, and the Chiado building will be referred to as the Grandes Armazéns do Chiado building. To fully understand the nature of the project, it is important to comprehend the reconstruction of the Chiado as a whole project, rather than as individual components. Siza himself saw the Chiado as one big building.

Bloco A (plots 7,8,9,10,11 and 20)

Bloco B (plots 12, 13, 14/15 and 16)

Bloco C (plots 2, 3 and 6)

Bloco D (plots 4 and 5)

Bloco E (plots 1,17,18 and 19)

This project series includes eleven subseries : Subseries 1) AP178.S1.1988.PR07.SS1 Master plans and exterior spaces, Reconstruction of Chiado, 2) AP178.S1.1988.PR07.SS2 Bloco A, 3) AP178.S1.1988.PR07.SS3 Edificio Camara Chaves building, 4) AP178.S1.1988.PR07.SS4 Edifício Castro e Melo, 5) AP178.S1.1988.PR07.SS5 Bloco B, 6) AP178.S1.1988.PR07.SS6– Bloco, B Chiado, Edifício Leonel, Lisboa, Portugal (1988-1998), 7) AP178.S1.1988.PR07.SS7 Bloco C, 8) AP178.S1.1988.PR07.SS8 - Bloco C, Chiado, Recuperaçäo do Edifício Grandella, 9) AP178.S1.1988.PR07.SS9 - Bloco C, Chiado, Recuperaçäo do Edifício dos Grandes Armazéns, 10) AP178.S1.1988.PR07.SS10 Ligacao Pedonal do Patio B, 11) AP178.S1.1988.PR07.SS11 Chiado, Estação de Metropolitano Baixa Chiado. It is important to note that the project AP178.S1.1994.PR08 Renovação do Elevador de Santa Justa, Chiado, 1994 is also related to the Reconstruction of the Chiado. All documentation for this project series, including the project subseries, has been kept together to maintain the office's arrangement.

Reference Number

AP178.S1.1988.PR07

Arrangement

Material in this series was arranged by Álvaro Siza’s office and has been kept in this order.

This project series is composed of eleven subseries: AP178.S1.1988.PR07.SS1 Master plans and exterior spaces, Reconstruction of Chiado; AP178.S1.1988.PR07.SS2 Bloco A; AP178.S1.1988.PR07.SS3 Edificio Camara Chaves building; AP178.S1.1988.PR07.SS4 Edifício Castro e Melo; AP178.S1.1988.PR07.SS5 Bloco B; AP178.S1.1988.PR07.SS6– Bloco, B Chiado, Edifício Leonel, Lisboa, Portugal (1988-1998); AP178.S1.1988.PR07.SS7 Bloco C; AP178.S1.1988.PR07.SS8 - Bloco C, Chiado, Recuperaçäo do Edifício Grandella; AP178.S1.1988.PR07.SS9 - Bloco C, Chiado, Recuperaçäo do Edifício dos Grandes Armazéns; AP178.S1.1988.PR07.SS10 Ligacao Pedonal do Patio B; AP178.S1.1988.PR07.SS11 Chiado, Estação de Metropolitano Baixa Chiado.

Location

Lisbon Portugal

Credit line

When citing the collection as a whole, use the citation: Álvaro Siza fonds, Collection Centre Canadien d’Architecture/Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montréal. When citing specific collection material, please refer to the object’s specific credit line

Language of material

Portuguese, English

Related units of description

  • It is important to note that project series AP178.S1.1994.PR08 Renovação do Elevador de Santa Justa, Chiado, 1994, in this fonds, is also related to the Reconstruction of the Chiado.
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