The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings


Casa de Serralves, Porto, © Sergio Silva

Porto Trip


‘Porto in Northern Portugal, dramatically set at the mouth of the River Douro and boasting UNESCO World Heritage status is rich in post 1914 architecture.

The Porto School of architects is well known : Álvaro Siza’s dramatic concrete geometries exploiting natural contexts in city and region; Eduardo Souto Moura’s  skilful use of materials , colours and constructional techniques and Miesian inspiration; and Fernando Távora’s absorption of the region’s rural and urban vernacular into impressive modern structures and townscapes in Porto, Matosinhos and Guimarães.


We will see work by all these leading figures but also buildings by less well known Portuguese architects, both from the interwar years – e.g. José Marques da Silva, Arménio Losa and Rogério de Azevedo -  and post war – e.g. Alcinho Soutinho, Manuel Solá-Morales and Manuel Salgado.  Rem Koolhaas’ ‘Casa da Música’ and Janet Echelman’s net sculpture at Matosinhos provide a notable recent international presence.


The history of city planning in Porto will be an important theme, dating from the late nineteenth century, heavily influenced by international figures such as Barry Parker and Robert Auzelle, but responding to massive change since the Revolution of 1974 and EU accession in 1986 with major transport investment in the Porto metro system, the urban road network and new bridges over the Douro. The successful conservation and restoration of the historic cores of both Porto and Guimarães are however major elements that have proceeded in parallel with twentieth century development.


The trip will be lead by C20 trustee Barry Arden and is being planned with the help of the Porto University School of Architecture (FAUP). The cost includes daily ground transport from a central pick-up point and entry fees plus a first night reception and one traditional dinner – you will even have a chance to swim in Alvaro Siza’s swimming pool on the beach, the Piscina das Marés. Accomodation is not included in the cost of the tour and delegates should make their own arrangements. In terms of selecting hotel location

the daily pick up/drop off point in Porto will be somewhere on the Avenida dos Aliados which is the main 'square' in the centre of the city ( and the main element of Barry Parker'splan for the city of 1915).

Porto airport is served by direct flights from UK by both TAP Air Portugal, Easy Jet  and Ryanair. The airport is half an hour from the city centre by the Porto Metro, and there is a wide variety of accommodation available in the city centre. The tours will start and finish in or around the main square of the city, the Avenida dos Aliados served by a number of Metro stations.


Start date :  Wednesday 23rd September


16.00  Meet at Praça da Liberdade, (equestrian statue of King Pedro), Porto City Centre.

 for a reception at and tour of Porto School of Architecture (Alvaro Siza).


Finish date: Saturday 26th September late evening (traditional dinner).


Members Only Cost:  £340 per person.

Booking Closed

Unfortunately, booking is closed for this event and we are no longer able to accept new bookings.