The SAAL Process exhibition collection

The SAAL Process exhibition collection

Part of


  • Museu Serralves (archive creator)


The SAAL Process exhibition collection

Dates of creation



  • archives

Level of archival description


Extent and Medium

  • 54 photographs (reproductions)
  • 37 drawings (reproductions)
  • 6 panels (reproductions)

Scope and Content

The SAAL Process exhibition collection consists of some of the reproductions of drawings and photographs displayed in the exhibition The SAAL Process, Housing in Portugal 1974–76 held at the Canadian Center for Architecture in 2015. The exhibition “The SAAL Process: Architecture and Participation, 1974–76” was organised and first shown at the Museu Serralves, and was curated by Delfim Sardo.

The collection contains reproductions of drawings, presentation panels and photographs dating from 1974 to 1979. The materials document different phases of seven of the ten most influential SAAL projects, mainly in Porto, but also in Lisbon and Setúbal. The collection presents a sample of site plans, design development drawings, and views of construction sites used in the exhibition. Also included in the collection are reproductions of photographs used to illustrate a timeline of the principal events of the Portuguese Revolution and of the SAAL process from 1974 to 1976. At the CCA, a central gallery presenting the timeline connected surrounding galleries, each of which included two or three SAAL projects.

Reference Number



This collection is arranged in two series: CD034.S1 and CD034.S2.

Administrative history

The SAAL Process exhibition collection was created by the Serralves Museum and travelled to the Canadian Center for Architecture (CCA) for the exhibition “The SAAL Process, Housing in Portugal 1974–76” held in Montréal, Québec, from May 12th to October 4th, 2015. The exhibit “The SAAL Process: Architecture and Participation, 1974–76” was first shown at the Serralves Museum in Porto, from October 31st, 2014 to February 1st, 2015, and was curated by Delfim Sardo, an independent curator, essayist of contemporary art and professor at the School of Fine Arts of the Lisbon University, the Lusófona University and the Catholic University of Porto.

The Serralves Museum is a museum for contemporary art and culture in Porto, Portugal. To develop the content for this exhibition, the Museum collaborated with the Porto District Archive, the documentation center of the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Porto (FAUP) and the Instituto Fundação Marques da Silva, in Porto

By utilizing reproductions of drawings and photographs documenting SAAL, the exhibit examined the role for architecture in a revolution. SAAL was born out of the Portuguese Revolution of 25 April 1974 and was enabled and facilitated by the temporary socialist government at the time. This compelling design process consisted of technical teams (known as brigades) led by architects in collaboration with communities with the goal of addressing the urgent housing needs of underprivileged groups in Portugal. The activity of these teams led to projects designed with the residents. Although only active for twenty-six months, SAAL produced some 170 projects, not all fully built, that involved over 40,000 families throughout the country.

Within this context the exhibit presented how the SAAL projects questioned the status of the needy and their ‘right to the city’. This debate generated a model of participation that not only challenged notions on urban planning but also spurred architects to re-examine their own social and political role.

Conditions governing access

  • Access by appointment only.

Conditions governing reproduction

  • The CCA does not hold copyrights for these materials. Please contact the repositories of the original items.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

  • The Canadian Center for Architecture was authorized to keep in its collection reproductions of several objects displayed in the exhibition The SAAL Process, Housing in Portugal 1974–76, a courtesy of the Museu Serralves and Alexandre Alves Costa.

Archivist's note

  • The SAAL Process exhibition collection was processed by Jennifer Préfontaine in August and September 2016.

Credit line

Pour citer la collection en entier | Use this credit line when citing the entire collection:
The SAAL Process exhibition collection
Collection Centre Canadien d'Architecture/
Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montréal;
Don de Museu Serralves/
Gift of Museu Serralves
Pour citer des objets spécifiques, veuillez vérifier la ligne de crédit de l’objet avec Référence à la collection.
When citing specific collection objects, please verify the object’s credit line with CCA Reference.

Language of material



Sign up to get news from us

Email address
First name
Last name
By signing up you agree to receive our newsletter and communications about CCA activities. You can unsubscribe at any time. For more information, consult our privacy policy or contact us.

Thank you for signing up. You'll begin to receive emails from us shortly.

We’re not able to update your preferences at the moment. Please try again later.

You’ve already subscribed with this email address. If you’d like to subscribe with another, please try again.

This email was permanently deleted from our database. If you’d like to resubscribe with this email, please contact us

Please complete the form below to buy:
[Title of the book, authors]
ISBN: [ISBN of the book]
Price [Price of book]

First name
Last name
Address (line 1)
Address (line 2) (optional)
Postal code
Email address
Phone (day) (optional)

Thank you for placing an order. We will contact you shortly.

We’re not able to process your request at the moment. Please try again later.

Folder ()

Your folder is empty.

Please complete this form to make a request for consultation. A copy of this list will also be forwarded to you.

Your contact information
First name:
Last name:
Phone number:
Notes (optional):
We will contact you to set up an appointment. Please keep in mind that your consultation date will be based on the type of material you wish to study. To prepare your visit, we'll need:
  • — At least 2 weeks for primary sources (prints and drawings, photographs, archival documents, etc.)
  • — At least 48 hours for secondary sources (books, periodicals, vertical files, etc.)