A Biographical Conversation

Luis Fernández-Galiano 

The conversation, recorded at a studio in Barcelona, covers the life and career of the Portuguese architect Eduardo Souto de Moura, since its beginnings in Porto up to more recent projects that enrich the laconic language coined in his first works.

The Porto School

LFG: Eduardo, let’s start out of course with your parents and your childhood.

ESM: It was a normal childhood, in a conservative and very religious family of northern Portugal – my family is from Braga. My uncles, grandfathers, great-grandfathers were educated, they all studied Greek and Latin in Coimbra, or medicine and psychiatry in Paris. The men studied and the women, the ‘meninas,’ stayed home. My father was an ophtalmologist, he studied at the Clínica Barraquer in Barcelona, and was a both monarchic and liberal conservative. I went to a school that was one hundred meters from my parents’ house, la Scuola Italiana, which was a huge influence. It was a highly disciplined school, and I think that many of the teachers had arrived from Italy to Portugal because Salazar protected them. The Scuola’s program was more advanced than that of classical Portuguese schools. Drawing was very important, and every essay had to include a drawing on the subject. This gave us a certain ability that later helped me become an architect...

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