Francisco Keil do Amaral
(Lisbon, 1910-1975, Lisbon)
Keil do Amaral graduated in Architecture from EBAL in 1934. He first worked with Carlos Ramos. He was one of the first Portuguese architects whose work revealed full modern consciousness and he distanced himself early on in his career from the oscillations between nationalism and modernism, seeking a third way that combined values of genuineness and the composed modernity of Dutch architecture referenced on Dudok. From then onwards his work defined a context of resistance to the orthodoxy of internationalist modernism and historicist traditionalism. The strict functionality of his early works later became more influenced by local organicity, and the austerity of his forms showed more complex volumetric articulations, while at the same time, the encounter between architecture and nature was a constant motive for meticulous design and choice of materials. His career as an architect was marked by his critical engagement and his civic efforts within the architectural profession. He launched the idea of a Survey of Regional Portuguese Architecture, an initiative that was to be carried through in the late 1950s by the National Union of Architects. An opponent of Portugal’s dictatorial regime, he was involved in trade union and political activities. Many divulgatory and critical texts have remained as testimony to his intensive professional activities.
Amongst his most important works are:
Instituto Pasteur (Porto, 1933-1935); Portuguese Pavilion at the World’s Fair in Paris (Paris, 1936-1937); Secil School (Setúbal, 1938-1940); Airport (Lisboa, 1938-1942); Rodízio House (Rodízio, 1943); Montes Claros Restaurant (Monsanto, Lisboa, 1939-1949); Monsanto Tennis Club (Lisboa, 1947-1950); Portuguese Trade Fair (Lisboa, 1952-1957); Campo Grande Swimming Pool (Lisboa, 1960); Stadium (Bagdade, 1961-1967).
Ana TOSTÕES, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation: The Buildings, F.C.G, Lisboa, 2012, p.251.