Rota Norte Júnior 1930-1947

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    Throughout 2014, a series of events celebrated the work of Norte Júnior, the Lisbon architect who won the largest number of Valmor awards to date. As a result of this celebratory year, the Direção Geral do Património Cultural, through the Divisão de Inventário do Património Imóvel, Móvel e Imaterial/Departamento de Bens Culturais (DPIMI/DBC), in partnership with the Universidade Autónoma de Lisboa (UAL), developed an inventory project dedicated to the work of Norte Júnior by making an exhaustive survey across the country.

    The DGPC/DPIMI was responsible for the systematic inventory of the Norte Júnior legacy that benefits from some form of legal protection, that is, that is classified, in the process of being classified, inserted in classified groups or covered, simultaneously, by areas of protection of classified properties. The challenge was to get to know Norte Júnior's work that benefits from some form of protection, and to propose the individual classification of some of his work. This inventory was made based on archive consultation - fundamentally that of the Lisbon City Council - bibliography consultation and by visiting the buildings. This allowed the observation of their state of conservation, and the maintenance or alteration of the original project.


    1930-1947

    The years between 1930 and 1947 mark the second stage of Norte Júnior's career, during which the projects he carried out in Lisbon were, above all, housing buildings, some still destined to the Avenidas Novas area - now limited to the Republic-Berna axis -, but the majority was built in the streets occupying the area surrounding the Rotunda - Camilo Castelo Branco and Rodrigues Sampaio - and Parque Eduardo VII - Duque de Palmela, Castilho, Joaquim António de Aguiar, António Augusto de Aguiar up to the Bairro Azul.

    Very similar in terms of planimetric distribution to the multi-housing buildings that he designed in the city between 1905 and 1929, these buildings from the 30s and 40s are distinguished from the first by the exterior decorative motifs, much more to the taste of his customers, oscillating between beautiful (but late) art deco models, imposing neo-baroque façades, and buildings composed of simple geometric lines that extended from the frontispiece to the interior decorative elements, such as lamps or handrails.

    It should be noted that in these second phase projects, Norte Júnior did not fail to impress his personal stamp characteristic of his eclectic phase. Many of these buildings do not lack wrought iron doors with Art Nouveau designs, masks topping pilasters embedded in the façades, and that which will be the most peculiar feature of his design recognized in the window frames, where each floor presents a different typology (the same across the whole floor), a solution that allows for a more marked distinction of the floors on the façade, while forming a harmonious whole in terms of design.

    Norte Júnior was also part of the body of architects who carried out the initial urbanization of Bairro do Restelo, designing five houses following the taste of the Portugese House for this new urban center. Already deeply rooted in the eclecticism that has always characterized him, this nucleus suggests the weight of the taste (and the decision) of the commissioners, and not of the architect.

    Source: DGPC

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