Arnaldo Adães Bermudes – Banco De Portugal


Built in 1926, on the site of the former vegetable market facing Faro Marina and the city garden is the Agencia Do Banco De Portugal En Faro.

Arnaldo Adães Redondo Bermudes was born in San Ildefonso, Porto, on 1 October 1864. He attended the Porto Academy of Fine Arts from 1880, where he was a student of José Geraldo da Silva Sardinha, completing his Portuguese studies at the School of Fine Arts in Lisbon in 1886. In that year he won a scholarship that allowed him to go to Paris in 1888 to study with mentor Pierre Blondel (1847-1897) at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. In 1897 he was awarded the design for a neighborhood of mixed housing (the neighborhood of the Arc of the Blind –  Bairro do Arco do Cego, Lisboa).
The concept was based on the idea of a garden city (cidade-jardim – Bairro do Arco do Cego constructed 1919 – source pt.wikipedia.org).

From 1894 his reputation and career flourished, having been awarded First Medal in the exhibition Artistic Guild of Lisbon (Grémio Artístico de Lisboa). In the years that followed he was awarded major commissions for public and private works. In 1895 he was appointed as architect in the Ministério do Reino, becoming arquitecto de 1.ª classe of that Ministry in 1906.

In 1898 a competition was held by the State for a new design of school that would incorporate teachers accommodation. The instruction was that local building techniques and materials should be used. The winning project was presented by architect Arnaldo Redondo Adães Bermudes. As a result of this he was nominated as a delegate to the Universal Exhibition of Paris, in 1900, where the project received the Gold Medal in the Section for School Architecture. Although originally the intention was for over 300 schools in villages all over the Portuguese territory only 184 were ever built between 1902 and 1912 over the country and are known as Adães Bermudes schools or as “little bells schools”. His style of Casa Portuguesa would become standard in the following decades.

The design placed the teacher’s accommodation in the centre of the upper floor of the building with the classrooms on the ground floor. There would be one classroom each for boys and girls with separate entrances and central hall that was used as a gym. The intent of the design was to reconcile the building, the environment and the children. The building brought a dimension that would make the school more attractive. Also the teacher’s  social image was reinforced by the visibility and dignity that the design gave to the teacher’s accommodation.

During his career Bermudes held various positions in the Civil Service. Whilst working for the Directorate General of Public Instruction (1899) he was responsible for the construction projects of schools.

In 1913 he designed the Escola do Magisterio Primario in Lisbon. (Morocco Thursday, Benfica)

Between 1917 and 1933, Bermudes taught at the School of Fine Arts, Lisbon. Instructing in Construction and Strength of Materials and Descriptive Geometry and Perspective. He contributed to several publications including Yearbook of the Society of Portuguese Architects, The Building, Bulletin of the Royal Association of Architects Civil and Portuguese Archaeologists and Portuguese Architecture. He was also a member of the Royal Association of Architects and Civil Portuguese Archaeologists, the Society of Portuguese Architects, National Society of Fine Arts, the Royal Institute of Architects British, the Portuguese Association of Civil Engineers as well as the Society of Architects of Argentina and Uruguay.

The commission for the Banco de Portugal came soon after, mixing neo-Manuelino and Baroque styles with Art Nouveau, Moorish and Modernista influences, the branches of Banco de Portugal, in Coimbra, in Bragança, Viseu, in Faro, Évora and Vila Real are testament to Bermudes impact on how Portuguese style was developing.

Adães Bermudez also participated in the restoration and conservation of national monuments such as the palaces of Mafra, Sintra and Queluz, the church of the Jeronimos Monastery and the National Museum of Ancient Art in Lisbon. He was also the project winner of the Monument to the Marquis of Pombal in Lisbon, in partnership with Antonio C. Abreu and sculptor Francisco dos Santos.


John Carvalho

He also won the Valmor and Municipal Architecture award in 1908 for the building at Avenida Almirante Reis 2 (above) commissioned by Guilherme Augusto Coelho and an Honorable Mention (1909), in the same competition, with the mansion in Sacramento Street. In 1900 he was again awarded at the Paris Universal Exhibition.

He married Albertina Bermudes who had his son George, who followed his father’s profession.

Adães Bermudes, architect, man of culture and Republican Mason died on February 18, 1948, in Paiões, Sintra.

I visited Faro and saw the Agencia do Banco de Portugal En Faro in March 2012 and these are my pictures. Taken very late in the day so please accept my apologies for the quality and colour tone.

Creative Commons License This work by mid20thcenturyman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Contemporary images sourced from the Gulbenkian foundation Portugal.
Architects drawing neothemi.up.pt (http://neothemi.up.pt/eng/themes/e_edif3.htm ).
Additional sources http://www2.warwick.ac.uk.

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