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“This is a collection of interviews by architect Nuno Lacerda Lopes. They are conversations between architects of the School of Oporto where the process of building an ideal of architecture, profession, society and school is sought, based on a personal and open reflection and even clarify the theoretical and practical concerns as well as the circumstances that underlie Portuguese architecture today”.
“- Good afternoon Professor Nuno Portas.
– Doctor no.
– Not a Doctor, but a Professor!
– I am a Professor without being an associate. I am a Full Professor without being a Doctor.
– Without being a Doctor!
– We were not Doctors.
– This is what I would like you to tell me a little bit about, about your education, about the time you were trained… Because the idea you have when you talk to yourself, when you also study your work and all your path, your life, is to be in the presence of the history of housing and Portuguese architecture itself, isn’t it?
– More or less. It is because it is already long.
– Or because it’s important, or because it’s…
– No. But, in fact, it was one of my beginnings, when I finished school in… You never really know when you finished school. At that stage there was no final exam, they were doing exams. But that’s not relevant. What is relevant, let’s say…
It was in the year 1955, more or less – 1956, 1957, around those years – I finished the course and had to prepare a thesis, which at that time was the final work. And I, together with other colleagues from Lisbon (like Pedro Vieira de Almeida, who is now a teacher here in Oporto) decided to do some theses, called theoretical, which the teacher – at that important time, who was Cristino da Silva, who was a great architect in his younger days, but who was already at the end of his academic life – together with others from the school, didn’t accept the theoretical theses. So we spoke with Professor Carlos Ramos and, therefore, I came to Oporto to do my thesis.
I came to do my thesis in Oporto, never having attended Oporto, the school in Oporto, the school of Fine Arts, and with exactly one thesis which was about the typology of collective housing. I think there’s still a copy somewhere. I don’t have one, but I think there is. It was once thought of republishing it, but that is a rather dated work, because it was intended to be a work of novelty at the time. There’s no point in publishing it now…”