FERNANDO TÁVORA AND JAPAN, AN (ARCHITECTURAL) ENCHANTMENT – A JOURNEY THROUGH HIS PRIVATE PERSONAL LIBRARY COLLECTION
Architect/PhD Student, Faculty of Architecture of the University of Porto, PORTUGAL, email@example.com
In spite of, geographically, being two worlds apart, Portugal and Japan share a widely-known historical relation, traced back to the 1540’s, when the Portuguese set themselves as the first Europeans to arrive in the land of the rising sun. Carrying with them the up-to-date models of European civilization, the enrichment came to be reciprocal to both cultures, at many different levels. Today, and generally speaking, Japanese traditional building culture is long commonly referred as one of the most common influential traits through many of the West’s greatest prominent architectural authors. However – and despite this secular relation between the two countries, which is (still) existing today at various diplomatic political instances –, when approaching the generality of the Portuguese architectural academia research, or overviewing the majority of the typical theory built around modern Portuguese architecture, never once a careful research in this direction seems to have been undertaken, or even signalled or attempted. As such, seeking to contribute to the progressive construction of a theoretical-practical scientifical knowledge about the process of appropriation and synthesis between modern Western architecture and (local) cultural traditions – namely, in this case, between Portugal and Japan –, and taking into account the known Japanese fascination of one of the most important architectural figures of Portuguese modernity – Fernando Távora –, as well as his visit to the country in 1960, which surely also came to be decisive for his professional path, this research paper focuses on the discovery and questioning of which echoes of the Western enchantment for Japan can be found in one of the most celebrated Portuguese modern architectural authors, not by focusing one more time on some of his architectural works, but specifically through a particular different novel perspective – a detailed and unprecedented inspection of its own personal private library collection.
Keywords: Fernando Távora, Fernando Távora Archive, Japan, Portuguese Architecture, Japanese Architectur
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