Searching for the Essence of Architecture at Porto School




School of Porto, master/disciple, radical pedagogy, learning spaces


The Faculty of Architecture at the University of Porto (FAUP), founded in 1979, and benefiting from the legacy of the School of Fine Arts (ESBAP), is internationally recognized and a worldwide reference in architectural teaching. Fernando Távora (1923–2005), Álvaro Siza (b. 1933) and Eduardo Souto de Moura (b. 1952) might be considered the three pillars of the school, although their contribution cannot be considered without their predecessors, the group of people they worked with and the Portuguese particular context. These masters’ strong personalities — embodied in their pedagogical action — and the space where the didactics take place — actually a project by one of them — are omnipresent and might be considered the better “not so hidden” secret of the School. The three architects were linked in teaching practice, profession and life. They experienced a master/disciple relationship at a certain point, and later shared, as professors, a strong idea of the School.

How to Cite

Mesquita, F., Calix, T., & Xavier, J. P. . (2020). Searching for the Essence of Architecture at Porto School. EAAE Annual Conference Proceedings, 3(1), 368–396. Retrieved from



Author Biographies

Francisca Mesquita, University of Porto

Francisca Mesquita holds a Master of Architecture from FAUP with the thesis titled „Knowing how to do architecture: from didactics to practice in a parallel between Porto and Oslo” – the result of the combined experiences both at FAUP and at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design. Despite having worked in many different areas, her current field of study is primarily the phenomenology of space and the paradigm of the education of architects.

Teresa Calix, University of Porto

Teresa Calix is an architect and assistant professor at FAUP, where she is the coordinator of the study profile Dynamics and Urban Forms of the PhD Programme in Architecture and the coordinator of the course Projecto 5 – urban design studio – of the Integrated Master in architecture. She is also the coordinator of the research group Morphologies and Dynamics of the Territory of the Centre for Studies in Architecture and Urbanism. She is FAUP’s Vice-Dean.

João Pedro Xavier, University of Porto

João Pedro Xavier is an architect and associate professor at FAUP, where he received his degree in 1985, and his Ph.D. in 2005. Worked in Álvaro Siza's office from 1986 to 1999. At the same time, established his own practice as an architect. Member of CEAU’s research teams – Architecture: Theory, Project, History – and – Digital Fabrication Laboratory. Correspondent editor of the “Nexus Network Journal” and member of the executive board of “Resdomus”. Currently, FAUP’s Dean.


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