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

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 ( ).
Additional sources


Nossa Senhora do Rosário, Olhão

1/3200 sec
focal length 24mm

Nossa Senhora do Rosário (Olhão, Portugal) was built in the 17th century. This is actually the rear of the church and in my opinion more interesting. The three arches that you see are secured with an iron grille which protects the chapel of Nossa Senhora dos Aflitos, where townswomen traditionally gathered to pray for their menfolk when there was a storm out at sea. Nowadays wax models of children and limbs sit amid candles as ex voto offerings for fertility and to cure ailments.

1/50 sec
focal length 34mm

1/50 sec
focal length 33mm

These photos all taken with Canon EOS Rebel T3i / 600D
EF-S 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II

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

Porta sessenta e quatro

porta sessenta-quatro

Location: Olhão, Eastern Algarve, Portugal
Taken with a Samsung Galaxy Note GT – N7000

F-stop: f/2.6
Exp: 1/2077 sec.
Focal Length: 4mm
Max Aperture: 2.81

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


A lot of the Blogs that I come across tend to be inward looking and all about the writer and without much reference to other people but today it’s all about somebody else.

In little under a week I shall be visiting a very dear friend that I first met thirty years ago. Rachel was with Gerry and I was living with his brother, Graham. Neither relationship was very long lived, just a few years (a little under three for my dalliance). Looking back with great fondness on those times I guess Rachel was the little sister I never had and I the elder ‘gay’ brother that she never had (her biological brother, Karl, is straight). We were often at each others homes and going out and getting drunk together, talking about art, boys, fashion and music and all the other stuff that interests you when you’re young. We both moved away from our home towns. Rachel from Lowestoft, famed for being the most easterly point on the English mainland and I from Norwich, famed for…well, actually I’m not sure, Colman’s mustard I guess. Rachel went to London Central St. Martins College and the Royal College of Art via Japan and Germany. I ended up in Brighton stuck at American Express as a very pressurised financial analyst and feeling rather miserable.
So fast forward to now and Rachel is in Portugal and doing a doctorate at the Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Porto while I’m still in dear old Blighty but looking forward to seeing her later this week at her home and printers studio in Olhão. Surrounded no doubt by sardines and sailors! Her specialisation is in Gyotaku printmaking with mainly marine life and has been exhibited internationally  many times. Click on her art below for more info:

I will be looking for typical Portuguese architecture, graffiti and anything that takes my fancy. There will no doubt be endless opportunities all along the Ria Formosa and the surrounding towns and villages so check back during the middle of March to see if I found anything to share.

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

Auditorio de Tenerife “Adán Martín” – Santa Cruz

Auditorio de Tenerife “Adán Martín” (often referred to as Auditorio de Santa Cruz) was designed by the architect Santiago Calatrava Valls and is located on the coast at Santa Cruz the capital of Tenerife. The construction took six years and was completed in 2003. I visited the island in May of 2006.

There are definitely some better pictures out there of this amazing building however many rely on aerial shots to impress the viewer rather than inform as to the decoration of the exterior. In interview Calatrava Valls has said that one of his icons of architecture is Antoni Gaudí, a fellow Spaniard and a leader in Catalan Modernism, and this building is covered with ceramic shards that as you will see results in giving the elevations an increased fluidity and lightness very similar to Gaudí. This is not plagiarism but an honest reference to a master of style in architecture. It is both form and function.
The structure reminds me variously of molluscs, the frightening maw of a giant sea creature, the wings of sea birds, millionaires yachts, harbour quay-sides and nuns wimples (maybe that should be mantillas). All these references for me help to seat the building comfortably in its environment. As can be seen elsewhere, it appears as though it has been surrounded by an ‘ice floe’ of crazy paving and is desperate to get into the wider ocean of the Atlantic.
Some casual observers have seen similarities between this construction and the Sydney Opera House by architect Jorn Utzon and  comparison is understandable even if misguided. Each are great works and to compare them is akin to comparing Jean Paul Gaultier to John Galliano because they design nice frocks! Each are unique in their own way but can not avoid similarities because of the shared vocation and similar inspirational locations. Whatever your opinion it demands your attention.

Click on any thumbnail for gallery.

Adán Martín Menis (19 October 1943 – 10 October 2010) was president of the Canary Islands (Spain) from July 2003 until 2007.
Menis was born in Santa Cruz de Tenerife. He was an industrial engineer and represented the Canarian Coalition party.
Menis was elected president in the autonomous elections of 2003.
He has also served as mayor of Santa Cruz de Tenerife from 1979 to 1987, the minister of public works in the island council of Tenerife from 1982 to 1986, a national deputy from 1993 to 1996, vice-president of the Canary Islands and president of the island of Tenerife from 1987 to 1999.