Page N2.1 . 03 January 2001                     
ArchitectureWeek - News Department
  • AIA Announces Highest Honors
  • Postcard from Portugal
  • Architecture High School at One

      Current Contents
      Blog Center
      Download Center
      New Products
      Products Guide
      Classic Home
      Architecture Forum
      Architects Directory
      Topics Library
      Complete Archive
      Web Directory
      About ArchWeek
      Subscribe & Contribute
      Free Newsletters


    [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Postcard from Portugal

    ArchWeek Photo

    Roof finials, chimneys, color bands, shallow balconies, and textured paving are some characteristic elements of Portuguese style.
    Photo: Kitty Meredith

    ArchWeek Photo

    A mosaic of roof tops, chimneys, and ancient castle walls in a residential area of Obidos.
    Photo: Kitty Meredith

    ArchWeek Photo

    The Portuguese townscape packs in tremendous particularity, using just a simple palette of white walls, earth materials, and gently composed traditional forms.
    Photo: Kitty Meredith

    ArchWeek Photo

    Characteristic cobblestone paving, walls and greenery, and color bands on buildings give the character of Portugal in this intimate connecting space.
    Photo: Kitty Meredith


    Click on thumbnail images to view full-size pictures.


    Dear ArchitectureWeek,

    Portugal was a big surprise to me. I'd read up on the country's history and culture before leaving on my trip. But nowhere in my reading was there a hint that Portugal is home to architectural traditions that I have found nowhere else in my travels.

    Unusual decorative touches are present on many private residences and public buildings. Most of these, such as tile mosaics, or bands of color (usually blue to ward off the "evil eye") across the front of the house or around the windows, are vestiges of a Moorish past.

    The Portuguese don't simply lay down concrete for sidewalks. Every sidewalk and plaza is composed of small stones or marble chips, often set in decorative patterns that enhance and coordinate with the surrounding buildings. This is apparent not only in major cities, but in smaller towns, villages, and suburbs.

    The most unusual touches, though, are decorative finials on the roofs of private residences. They are usually 18 to 24 inches (45 to 60 centimeters) tall and are often simple spirals, two or more to a rooftop. Others lend an oriental flavor, positioned on the tip ends of slightly upturned roof edges. In the Algarve region, large rectangular chimneys appear as decorative touches, usually two to a roof when only one has a practical purpose.

    On the road in Portugal,

    Kitty Meredith

    < Prev Page Next Page > Send this to a friend       Subscribe       Contribute       Advertise       Privacy       Comments
    GREAT BUILDINGS   |   DISCUSSION   |   SCRAPBOOK   |   COMMUNITY   |   BOOKS   |   FREE 3D   |   ARTIFICE   |   SEARCH © 2001 Artifice, Inc. - All Rights Reserved