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This would make Le Corbusier crazy!

When exploring Lisbon on foot, I imagine often what Le Corbusier would tell about “facadism”, I’m sure it would make him crazy!


Facadism is mummifying the city and Lisbon is losing its authenticity. I will further explore this subject, in future posts, giving examples. There are a few where the original architecture of the buildings was respected. On the contrary, there are great “lifting” operations resulting in higher constructions of very poor appearance, and these are much more common. The process of urban regeneration taking place in Lisbon under the imposition of facadism is a lost opportunity.


Modernism broke away from historical-eclectic architectural models and pushed the cities toward the future as we know them today - bustling, dynamic and diversified.

We could think this was a turning point without return but there are the architectural guidelines advocated by facadism, mummifying the city and pushing Lisbon’s urban development back.


Some principles behind modernism contrary to facadism:

“Form (ever) follows the function” (Louis Henry Sullivan, Architect)

“Make it new” (Ezra Weston Loomis Pound, Poet)

"Use the means and knowledge given to us by our times, without the intervening traditions which are no longer viable today, and in that way we can inaugurate a new architecture.” (Entretiens sur L'Architecture, Architect)

“Less is more (Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Architect)


Note: according to the dictionary “facadism” means “The practice of preserving the fronts of old buildings while demolishing the backs, often constructing modern interiors behind the old façades”.


Photo: residential building at Avenida Defensores de Chaves, Lisboa (future Hotel)



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