Pancho Guedes


1925 - 2015

The eclectic Portuguese architect Pancho Guedes died in South Africa, where he lived, at 90 years of age. Born in Lisbon in 1925, he moved to Africa when he was still a child. He studied in both continents but developed most of his work in the Portuguese territories of East Africa (Mozambique today), where he built more than five hundred buildings. In 1953 he was a member of Team 10, a group of architects that gathered at the 11th congress of the CIAM to analyze urban issues. It was afterwards that he completed his most representative works, like the housing block known as ‘Laughing Lion’ (1958) or the Holy Family Church (1964), both in the current Maputo. Pancho Guedes was also chair professor at the University of the Witwatersrand (Johannesburg) and professor at Lisbon’s Technical University and Universidade Lusófona. His work extended beyond architecture, and he always wanted to become a painter. However, in Portugal he wasn’t considered a key figure until well into the 21st century: perhaps because of his anarchic understanding of the profession.

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