Nuno Teotónio Pereira (1922-2016)
Nuno Teotónio Pereira passed away on 20th January, 2016
docomomo International wishes to convey the most sincere condolences at the passing of the great Portuguese architect Nuno Teotónio Pereira, to his family and friends.
"Today Portuguese architecture suffered great loss with the death of Nuno Teotónio Pereira (1922-2016). Aforementioned, perceived programs such asT housing and public equipment or intervention in the city and the territory, like Obra Aberta Open Work, designed with an unprecedented realism. At 25 years-old he claimed that it´s necessary to build without prejudice and with pure intentions. With a kind of childlike innocence. The concern must be to build good." Throughout an extensive output he has remained faithful to a creation connected with reality, place and people. Withboth social and political commitment, this is the meaning of a work open to participation. While still a student he fought bravely for the cause of Modernism publishing writings on Le Corbusier. He believed in the possibility of a third way of doing architecture, so he was able to keep a critical eye towards the dogmatism of Modern ideas, bridging the gap between them and the vernacular architecture stressing the urgency of reconciliation with history and memory.
Pioneer of teamwork, his studio worked as a school of innovation and discussion, parallel to ESBAL, the official, academic, retrograde and repressive training. It was there where the successive generations of the most important architects (such as Bartolomeu da Costa Cabral to Nuno Portas or Pedro Vieira de Almeida, from Gonçalo Byrne to Pedro Viana Botelho, among many others) worked under his lead.Deeply interested in social causes, he dedicated himself to the research on "Housing for the Greatest Number" and created important sets of affordable housing, particurarly in Braga, Castelo Branco, Barcelos. His struggle for the contemporary religious architecture resulted in the Church of Waters (1950-1952) - paradigm of renovation, in the Sassoeiros Monastery (1958-1960), and in the globally acclaimed Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (1962-1970; Valmor Prize 1975) which opened the religious site to the urban space. With the Olivais-North housing (1959) he proposed an innovative spatial organization with the participation of artists, receiving again the Valmor Prize (1968) for the first time for a work of social character. In the "Franjinhas" building he returned to the idea of penetration of the public space within building.For the first time architecture is brought to this "pop" dimension for public discussion through a passionate debate. In the 70´s, with Alto do Restelo´s plan, he proposed the idea of rediscovering the value of the street and the traditional city, returning to the formal value of the built quarter. In the 80´s he designed the CGD Horta (in Açores), this time opting for a strong contextualization of the imagery. The Polis of Covilha Program is perhaps the biggest urban intervention project of his Atelier, pointing to the rehabilitation of rivers and focusing on the pedestrian mobility.The prestigious Nuno Teotónio Pereira went beyond the professional dimension being also the intervening citizen. Opposing injustice, he fought the Estado Novo regime and was arrested several times by PIDE-DGS. He was a founder of the Religious Art Renewal Movement (1952-1971), president of the Cultural Cooperative PRAGMA, the National Center for Culture, the Association of Portuguese Architects and the Architects Council of Europe. He was awarded with the Gulbenkian Prize for Architecture (1961), AICA (1985) and Award National Housing Institute (1991), he also received the Grand Cross of the Order of Freedom and the Honorary Doctorate. Wisely and with continuing relevance, power of synthesis and dialogue, Nuno Teotónio Pereira was an example of consistency, rigor and healthy tenacity. The contemporaneity of his work is a proof of the strength of trends and styles and it comes up with the unusual dimension of his Obra Aberta - Open Work."
Ana Tostões, Nuno Teotónio Pereira, a Obra Aberta, Diário de Notícias, 20.01.2016 (translated from Portuguese).
O velório irá realizar-se dia 21 de Janeiro (Quinta-feira), na Igreja do Sagrado Coração de Jesus (Lisboa), a partir das 17h. O funeral terá lugar dia 22 de Janeiro (Sexta-feira), pelas 13h30, no Cemitério do Lumiar.