|Alfredo Viana de Lima
Architect, urbanist and university teacher
Alfredo Evangelista Viana de Lima was born in Esposende on 18 August 1913. He was the only son of Alfredo Viana de Lima, a primary teacher, and of Joaquina de Campos Evangelista de Lima.
In 1929, he enrolled in the Architecture course at the Porto Fine Arts School. Then, between 1938 and 1941, he trained in the National Monuments Department of the Ministry of Public Works, under the supervision of architect Rogério de Azevedo.
In 1941, he obtained his diploma in Architecture with the work "Biblioteca-Arquivo para o Ensino Universitário" (Library-Archive for University Education), which received 19 marks out of 20.
To better understand the problems of Architecture and Urbanism, he travelled to other countries, for instance, Belgium, Spain, France, Holland, England, (former) Yugoslavia, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland and Brazil.
In 1948, at the age of 35, he presented to the 1st National Architecture Congress, held in Lisbon, a paper on "O Problema Português de Habitação" (The Portuguese Housing Problem).
He was a member of the Organization of Modern Architects (ODAM 1947-1952), with head-office in Porto, and from 1951 on, he joined the international congresses on Modern Architecture (CIAM); at the 10th Congress (1956, Dubrovnik), together with colleagues Octávio Lixa Filgueiras and Fernando Távora, he delivered a paper on the recovery of a community in the north-eastern part of Trás-os-Montes.
From the 60s on, he dedicated his time to surveying and recovering historical buildings, and to planning old urban areas. On 30 January 1960, he was hired as an urban consultant by Bragança City Hall, and prepared the Regulatory Plan for the city. In 1961, he was nominated Assistant at the Porto Higher Institute of Fine Arts.
From 1968 onwards, after being a member of the Organizing Committee for the Exhibition on Portuguese Art and Architecture, which was part of the commemoration of the 500th anniversary of Rio de Janeiro, he began to work with Brazilian architect Óscar Niemeyer (1907- ) in the Pena Furada Tourist Project, in Algarve (1965) and the Casino Park Hotel in Madeira (1966).
Between 1968 and 1977, he visited Brazil on a regular basis, as UNESCO adviser, to study the Municipal Master Plan for the historical town of Ouro Preto, which was threatened by corrosion. He also prepared studies and rehabilitation and expansion projects for the historical cities in Maranhão, Alagoas and Sergipe, and studies and heritage interventions in Rondônia. He was also responsible for several other intervention works in other areas in Asia and Africa, where the Portuguese influence was felt most.
In 1969, he became a member of the Le Corbusier International Association.
In 1974, he became a Professor at ESBAP, and participated in seminars organized by Brazilian institutions, between 1974 and 1976.
In 1977, he was appointed President of the National Committee for European Architecture Heritage and nominated President of the Organizing Committee of the Institute for the Protection of Cultural and Natural Heritage (1977-1980) and advisor for CRUARB (Committee for the Urban Renovation of the Ribeira/Barredo Areas), in Porto.
In 1981, he travelled to Mozambique commissioned by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, to study the preservation measures for Ilha de Moçambique.
Two years later, while on a service commission, he began teaching at the Lisbon School of Fine Arts. He was appointed Counsellor of the Universidade Técnica de Lisboa, thus becoming a Professor in the two existing Architecture schools in Portugal.
He was responsible for many works, for instance, the Urban Plans for the cities of Bragança, Valença do Minho and Vila da Feira; Bragança hospital, in 1957 (which included the District Hospital, the Morgue, the Outpatient Clinic, the Mental Health Dispensary, the Nursing Home and School, etc.); the Montepio Building and some private houses, in Bragança; the Municipal market in Vinhais; the projects for children’s holiday camps, in Lamego and Torreira; a house in Honório de Lima Street (1939), Joaquim Malheiro Pereira House, Sá da Bandeira Building (from 1943, which was not built), Aristides Ribeiro House or Casa do Passal (1949), Maria Borges House, in cooperation with Osvaldo Santos Silva (1951), a Housing Complex in Costa Cabral Street, 750 (1953), the building between Guilherme da Costa Carvalho Street, 29/25/23/21/12/1 and Bonjardim Street, 235 (1955), the Faculty of Economics of the University of Porto (1961-1974); Marinhas House, in Esposende (1954) and Santa Maria da Feira Palace (1974).
Some of these architecture projects (for example, the Faculty of Economics of the University of Porto, Aristides Ribeiro House, Marinhas House and the Bragança Regional Hospital and Mental Health Centre) are said to be key works to understand Portuguese Modern Architecture. For this reason, they are being classified by IPPAR, so that they can be preserved and saved.
Viana de Lima died in Porto, on 27 December 1991. At that time, the architect was working on a project to restore the Arzila Castle keep, in Morocco.
(Universidade Digital / Gestão de Informação, 2009)