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Trienal de Arquitectura de Lisboa

SAAL – Fonsecas e Calçada Neighbourhood

  • Original Authors:
  • Raul Hestnes Ferreira
  • (1977)

This neighbourhood is an example of a SAAL [a local housing support programme in the period immediately following the Revolution of 1974) intervention in Lisbon; SAAL was one of the most important housing and rehousing programmes ever undertaken in Portugal. In Lisbon, the programme’s interventions focused on areas that were peripheral to the city centre, where illegal developments or precarious self-construction projects were common. Having returned from the USA shortly before, where he worked directly with the renowned architect Louis Kahn, Raul Hestnes Ferreira, very much in line with what he had learnt there, designed an urban grid of large dimensions based on a simple and understandable geometry. The neighbourhood takes the form of a succession of quadrangular blocks built around courtyards that are more or less accessible to the public. Of the initial plan from the late 1960s, only the buildings on the northern site were built under the SAAL programme in 1977. The design presents a wealth of public circulation spaces in the form of galleries, staircases and patios. The repetition of the wings, porticos and spans adds a certain aspect of monumentality to the complex, which indeed the American master and other architect such as the Italian Aldo Rossi had been experimenting with for at least a decade.

Rua Dom Luís da Cunha
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