My book about António Varela is released

My book about the modernist architect António Varela (1903-1962) was finally published by Caleidoscópio Ed. It’s a resumed and adapted version of my doctoral thesis, 2nd PRIZE ICAR-CORA 2011.

The book is available in paperback format.

António Varela o Legado do Invisível, Caleidoscópio Ed., Lisboa, 2015  [288 pp.], ISBN: 978-989-658-225-8.

CAPA AV 2015



The theme “Antonio Varela and the legacy of the invisible – composition, tracings and symbolic of an architect under the shadow of giants” proposes an interpretation for this architect’s silent path.

The complexity evidenced by architecture over this first Portuguese modern art movement can be explained by the very contradiction experienced within the international debate between Tradition and Modernity. Attempts to overcome this duality manifested through the production of “avant-garde” art and architecture, and had some impact on the relatively small Portuguese universe. In the specific case of Varela’s works, these are illustrated by their functional, programmatic, typological and symbolic aspects.

The foundations for the artist’s architectural production evolve around archetypal gestures denoting an ontological reflection of an hermetic nature based upon the Platonic-Pythagorean archetypology, which act as mental mechanisms processing the pre-composition architectural design. His most significant works convey this same poetic ideal throughout structures of signs in the space design, supported by the canons of geometry and the induction of a creative logos. For this transitional character, the process reveals the architect’s concern and reflection on aesthetics, and may well explain his own interpretation of modernity, achieved through the symbolic path.

Keywords: composition; tracings; symbolic; tradition; modernism.

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