From the call to tender to the preliminary draft (1959-1962)

The Programme for Installation of the Headquarters and Museum considers that the Santa Gertrudes Park, duly restored in terms of the vigour of its vegetation, will constitute one of the free public spaces of greatest interest in Lisbon; a privileged place that will certainly attract the population and will provide the Foundation with opportunities for greater dissemination of its cultural activities. And so, (…) The limitations of the park’s area, in terms of its relevant functions as an urban green space, were also taken into account, taking advantage of them to enhance and provide the framing of all the buildings to be constructed.

The Santa Gertrudes Park emerges as a determinant factor for the development of the project, and therefore, in the Tender Programme for the Headquarters Building and Museum “the size of the Park, as well as the imperative need to foresee its continued urban role, as one of the lungs of the city of Lisbon, conditions the use of the land, in the sense of that it should provide the maximum possible free area.

 

The tender – the three bids

In February 1960 the three teams of architects invited to bid, assisted by Leslie Martin and Franco Albini, submitted proposals for the Headquarters and Museum Facilities of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.

The teams were made up of the following architects:

– Ruy Athougia, Alberto Pessoa e Pedro Cid – Group A;

– Arménio Losa, Luís Pádua Ramos e Formosinho Sanchez – Group B;

– Arnaldo Araújo, Frederico Jorge e Manuel Laginha – Group C.

On 4 April, 1960 Azeredo Perdigão informed the architects Ruy Athougia, Alberto Pessoa and Pedro Cid – Group A, that their proposal was the winning proposal.

 

The hiring of landscape architects

On 5 April, 1961, one year after choosing the team of architects, Eng. Guimarães Lobato proposed to Azeredo Perdigão, the hiring of two technicians to carry out studies and projects related to the Santa Gertrudes Park arrangement, suggesting they be chosen from the following names: Gonçalo Ribeiro Telles; António Facco Viana Barreto; Manuel de Azevedo Coutinho; Edgar Ferreira Fontes and Álvaro Ponce Dentinho.

In his proposal, he emphasized the role that these technicians were to play especially with regard to the integration of the set of buildings built in the park and the preservation of the tree species. Azeredo Perdigão refers the decision to the Delegate Committee who decided on 12 April to “entrust this work to the Agricultural Engineers and Landscape Architects Gonçalo Ribeiro Telles and António Facco Viana Barreto“. This choice was determined by the fact that Eng. Guimarães Lobato had provided information stating that besides being very competent technicians, these  were the architects that the authors of the projects for the Headquarters and Museumrecommended most [i].

In a letter dated 16 May1961, these technicians thank Azeredo Perdigão for the invitation and present the guiding principles of their intervention and the type of contribution they could provide in the remaining studies to be developed. They considered that due to the complexity and nature of the work it was of utmost importance to ensure a good final result, an intimate and active technical and aesthetic collaboration both with the architects, authors of the project and with the engineers in charge of the park’s structures and infrastructures.

 

[i]
Arquivo Morto do Serviço de Projetos e Obras da Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian – Pasta 137 Processo 95, vol. 22 A1, pasta 517, processo nº137, volume 2A.

 

Documents of this phase