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Fernando Távora

Fernando Távora (1923-2005) completed the degree in Architecture at the School of Fine Arts of Porto in 1950, and became an assistant at this school in 1962, where he had a long teaching activity that left a strong imprint in several generations of architects. He also actively participated in the process of transition of the School of Fine Arts to the current Faculty of Architecture, as well as in the creation of Architecture courses at the University of Minho and University of Coimbra, the latter having awarded him an Honorary Doctorate in 1993.
In 1955, he coordinated the team of the “Inquérito à Arquitectura Popular Portuguesa” [Survey on Portuguese Regional Architecture], the region of Minho having been assigned to him. He traveled the world and participated in several ICMAs (International Congress of Modern Architecture). He worked for the Municipal Council of Porto from 1948 to 1956. He worked as consultant to the Municipal Council of Gaia, the Commissioner for the Renovation of the Urban Area of ​​Ribeira-Barredo, the Technical Office of the Northern Region Planning Commission and the Local Technical Office for the Historic Center of Guimarães. Two reference works stand out in his body of theoretical work: the booklet O problema da Casa Portuguesa [The problem of the Portuguese House] (1945-47) and the book A organização do espaço [The organization of space] (1962), in which he advocates the importance of knowing History and Culture for the production of contemporary architecture. As a way to give voice to the citizenship of architecture and to come closer to the common man, he also wrote in newspapers. In terms of his practice of architecture, Fernando Távora is the author of structuring works within the process of architecture in Portugal, among which the following stand out: Ramalde Residential Unit (1952-60), the house in Ofir (1957-58), the Market in Vila da Feira (1954-59), the Municipal Park of Quinta da Conceição in Matosinhos, the Cedro School in Vila Nova de Gaia (1958-60), the Municipal Building in Aveiro (1963-67), the Pousada do Convento de Santa Marinha da Costa in Guimarães (1972-85), which received the National Prize for Architecture (1988), the Auditorium of the Faculty of Law of the University of Coimbra (1993-2000), the Extension of the Parliament Building in Lisbon (1994-99). Távora was awarded the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation Architecture Prize, the Europa Nostra Prize (for the Rua Nova house in Guimarães), the Tourism and Heritage 85 Prize and the Career Prize of the first Ibero-American Biennial of Architecture and Engineering of Madrid, in 1998. He also received the Order of Santiago de Espada, the gold medal of the city of Porto, the gold medal of the city of Guimarães, the gold medal of the city of Viana do Castelo, the gold medal of the city of Matosinhos, and his professional work was present in several national and international collective and individual exhibitions.