In December 1966 Azeredo Perdigão, President of the Foundation, informed the Foundation’s Board that the deal had been closed with Conde Vilalva, for the acquisition of another “parcel of land annexed by the South side, […] with an average width of about of 26m and a total area of 4,675m2″ [i]
This purchase of another plot of the Santa Gertrudes Park resulted from a set of programme changes, of a cultural nature, that came about due to the decision to extend the annexes on the lower floor of the Auditorium and to create a Ballet Centre which would be located to the south of the property.
Land acquisition studies
During 1964 a series of studies were carried out that sought to find the best solution for the area to be acquired.
In November 1964 Gonçalo Ribeiro Telles considered that the construction of a building, that would serve as an Art Education Centre, on a strip of land to the south of the land, would compromise a valuable tree mass there.
Given this opinion Guimarães Lobato filed away the process, only to be reopened a year later in October 1965, when there were plans to install the Ballet Centre but not the Art Education Centre.
On 18 October, 1965, in an exchange of correspondence between José de Azeredo Perdigão and the Count de Vilalva, about the wall dividing the two estates, it is stated that it is urgent to: “.(.. ) define, as definitively as possible, the end of your property and the part belonging to the Santa Gertrudes Park, (…) that belongs to the Foundation “(…). This wall, built in half-brick instead of full-brick, is once again, to a large extent, on the ground (…). It is necessary to build an important building precisely along the current extreme end (...) it is crucial that you let us know if you are willing, once again, ( …) to help us by selling to the Foundation, for an agreed price, another plot of land …” [ii].
Landscape architects were once again consulted about the possible extension. A set of drawings resulted from his consultation [iii] and a document was signed by the architects Jorge Sotto-Mayor de Almeida and Gonçalo Ribeiro Telles, where the way forward was clearly defined.
Once the area and shape of the parcel of land to be acquired had been defined, a revision process of the preliminary draft presented in 1963 began.
Expansion of the Park area
This expansion of the area allowed for:
- A reinforcement of the expression of the lake in the design of the whole. Previously fed only by a small stream, it now appeared fed by three. Its relationship with the grand auditorium becomes more eloquent.
- Reinforcement of the axialiality defined by planting and land modelling, perpetuating an axis that had been defined by Jacob Weiss.
- Reinforcement of the amphitheatre framing.
- In addition to these changes directly related to the expansion of the park area, the design of the entrances to the underground park was also revised.
[i] AM S.P.O, Folder 1351, Proc95, vol,1f-B-4-1
[ii] AM S.P.O, Folder 1351, Processo 26, vol.2
[iii] Study on the expansion of the Calouste Gulbenkian Park
Area Calculation – Study on the Park’s Expansion
Study for the implantation of the amphitheatre and circulation system
Blueprint of Santa Gertrudes Park, where the new area to be acquired from the Count of Vill’Alva is registered
Expansão do Parque Calouste Gulbenkian
Documents of this phase