Exhibition | March 08, 2018—May 27, 2018
Serralves, Porto, Portugal

Manuel Marques de Aguiar (1927–2015) belongs to a generation of architects from Porto, Portugal, for whom drawing is a privileged tool of thought. He was an architect, urban planner, urban manager and landscape designer. Born in Trás-os-Montes, Marques de Aguiar developed his academic training and career in many other locations, including France, the North of Portugal and the archipelago of the Azores.

On the basis of his drawings, blueprints and architectural projects, this exhibition highlights his desire to transform the city and the landscape, ‘building places’ that will enable new experiences.

In his plans, projects, works and technical opinions, Marques de Aguiar sought to move from the ‘intention to making things happen’ (title of a speech he presented in 1991), through the use of different instruments, broadening opportunities, and ‘planning for the long term’ as he liked to say. As the landscape architect Ilídio Araújo, his former colleague, said: ‘we tried to change mentalities!’.

Across six units, or ‘places’, the exhibition presents different testimonies by leading figures from his generation (such as Luiz Cunha, Carlos Carvalho Dias and Álvaro Siza, among others), memories of those who accompanied the persistence of Marques de Aguiar in forging closer ties between work and life. These works were marked by his training in Paris under Robert Auzelle, the urban planner responsible for transforming Porto in the late 1950s and early 60s — the author of Porto’s 1962 Municipal Master Plan (PDM) — and a key figure in construction of the axis of Rua Gonçalo Cristóvão, and the French School of Porto, which are works that Marques de Aguiar left to the city of Porto.

The exhibition also includes his plans for the cities of Espinho and Angra do Heroísmo (after the 1981 earthquake), as well as studies carried out in interior zones of Northern Portugal and for the maritime areas between Porto and Leça da Palmeira. Álvaro Siza, author of the Boa Nova Tea House (1963), states in this exhibition: ‘I learned a lot from him in my first contact with territorial planning. I look back fondly on these days of learning and conviviality, marked by his impeccable care and patient wisdom’.

For more information visit the Serralves website.