Manuel Marques de Aguiar

Manuel Marques de Aguiar (1927-2015), degree of Architecture from the School of Fine Arts of Porto (final thesis defended in 1955) and of Urban Planning from the Institut d’Urbanisme de Paris (1954). Throughout his training, contact with figures such as Carlos Ramos, Max Sorre, Jean Royer, Robert Auzelle, Pierre Lavedan and Gaston Bardet shaped his way of thinking and gave substance to a mode of action where scientific rigor and a humanist vision always converged. From 1956 onwards, he joined the Urbanization Services of the General Directorate for Territorial Planning. It was then that he developed, together with Ilídio Alves de Araújo, the planning strategies for the Northern region by advising policy makers and using technical arguments with the authors of studies and plans, with emphasis on the redesign of the Bom Jesus road (Braga, 1965) and his action against the location of Sacor in Leça da Palmeira. This three-decade work culminated in being appointed coordinator of the team from the General Directorate for Planning responsible for the Angra do Heroísmo Reconstruction Plan. In that role, he was the author of the three detailed plans: Carreirinha Detailed Plan (phases 1 and 2), Silveira-Fanal Detailed Plan and Desterro-Guarita Detailed Plan (1982). In the period 1962-1996, he worked as an urban planning consultant for the Municipality of Espinho. During this period, approximately four thousand opinions and eighty plans were developed by the successive municipal teams, in conjunction with the Urbanization Pre-Plan (1967) for this city, which was progressively adjusted, being of his authorship the project for the esplanades (1965-96), the Tea Pavilion (1965), Street 19 (1989) and Square José de Salvador (1989). At the same time, he maintained his activity as an independent architect with offices in Porto. The search for a strong urban integration is clear in his architectural projects and works, where he recreates spaces for experiences and encounters. Examples of this are the gallery of the building in Rua Gonçalo Cristóvão and the corner with Rua do Bonjardim formed by the Figueiredo and Lar Familiar buildings (1957-68); the French School (1959); the Montalegre School (1965); and the Montalegre Market (1964). An experimental component (essentially “modern”) and a component of relationship with the place or even with tradition stand out in his architectural projects (and smaller works) – such as the round house in Carvalhas, the proposals for tourist facilities in Caldas de Aregos, but also in the pieces of religious architecture (lectern, tabernacle, tomb of the bishop António Ferreira Gomes).