Motivation letter

I am an architectural historian and historic preservationist specialising in the heritage and theories of Brazil and the Portuguese speaking world. Over the past two years, I have focused on the continued links between Portugal and Brazil throughout and beyond the colonial period, up to the traditionalist movements of the early twentieth century. The Azores have played a major role as a stepping stone and testing grounds for these transatlantic architectural exchanges in both directions, a role I studied during the sabbatical year I am presently spending as a visiting scholar at the University of Coimbra, Portugal. The traditional architecture of the Azores therefore bears a particular interest to my research, all the while I consider myself able to contribute positively to the Summer School.

I have over a decade of teaching experience in architectural history proposing analysis and contextual design assignments similar to those featured in the Premio Rafael Manzano Summer School. My previous experience with another Rafael Manzano Summer School was very positive and I was glad to take the opportunity to work on the same level as the young students. This has furthermore assisted me in planning for the establishment of an INTBAU chapter in Brazil, which I expect in turn to allow us to plan similar Summer Schools there.

More strictly to the point of the 2020 Summer School, I am eager to acquire a first-hand experience of the geographical, urban, and architectural patterns of the Azores as they have emerged and persisted over the past five centuries. The prospect of lending a hand to the preservation of the traditional settlement patterns in a region threatened by industrial ranching and mass tourism, not to mention rural exodus, is an invaluable validation of our lifelong commitment to the study of architecture.

The contributions I expect to bring to the group that takes part in the Azores Summer School are primarily centred on my teaching and research experience, namely: familiarity with the wider context of traditional Portuguese architecture and urbanism, including the methods I commonly use to analyse it, such as building typology and urban morphology—though I am also familiar with the New Urbanist concept of the urban and architectural transects, which should prove equally valuable as an analytical and design tool. Having participated in and led research and design teams throughout my career, I can also bring to the table time and task management skills, especially with regard to efficient rendering and sketching techniques.

Should I be selected to take part as a student in the Azores Summer School, I am eager to contribute in every aspect I may be found useful, including before and after the course itself.

Work samples

Proposed plan of Beirã. Marvão Summer School, 2018

Proposed plan of Beirã. Marvão Summer School, 2018

Title image for the Arquitetura tradicional do Brasil project

Title image for the Arquitetura tradicional do Brasil project, @arqtrad on Instagram

Part of a housing compound for an
extended family in Brasilia, Brazil. Conceptual design stage. Façade

Part of a housing compound for an extended family in Brasilia, Brazil. Conceptual design stage. Façade

Part of a housing compound for an extended family in Brasilia,
Brazil.

Part of a housing compound for an extended family in Brasilia, Brazil. This project uses a proportional grid based on the traditional Portuguese yard (braça = 1.1 metre). Conceptual design stage. First floor plan

Part of a housing
compound for an extended family in Brasilia, Brazil. Conceptual design
stage. Second floor plan

Part of a housing compound for an extended family in Brasilia, Brazil. Conceptual design stage. Second floor plan

Study
sketch in Montemor-o-Velho, Portugal, 2019

Study sketch in Montemor-o-Velho, Portugal, 2019

Study sketch in Castelo de Vide, Portugal. Marvão
Summer School, 2018

Study sketch in Castelo de Vide, Portugal. Marvão Summer School, 2018

Study
sketch of Vitruvius's basilica at Fano, 2019

Study sketch of Vitruvius’s basilica at Fano, 2019

Former
Jesuit church of S. Lourenço, Porto, 2014

Former Jesuit church of S. Lourenço, Porto, 2014

S. Antão church, Évora,
2018

S. Antão church, Évora, 2018

Elvas cathedral, 2018

Elvas cathedral, 2018

Exposition of interest

I have followed the activities of the Premio Rafael Manzano over several years, motivated by an interest in the present applicability of traditional crafts, forms, and design processes. The work of Mr Manzano and the prize recipients evidence the cultural and economic improvement traditional architecture can bring to our communities.

Over the past two years, I have had the chance to follow the activities of the Premio Rafael Manzano more closely, taking part in the Summer School and attending seminars and celebrations. These opportunities have heightened my resolve to foster the discourse and practice of traditional architecture in my home country, Brazil. I find Mr Manzano’s lifelong dedication to historic preservation as well as the familiar work of the Portuguese prize recipients—José Baganha, Alberto Castro Nunes, and António Maria Braga—particularly inspiring to me and to the Brazilian context.

The publications of the Premio Rafael Manzano, additionally, have encouraged my present research and advocacy work in reconciling sound scholarship in architectural history and theory with contemporary issues.