College of São Bento
The initial architectural programme displays a pronounced mannerist aesthetics, resulting in a rectangular block with an ample courtyard
Art and Architecture
The initial architectural programme displays a pronounced mannerist aesthetics, resulting in a rectangular block with an ample courtyard and outer façades divided into three horizontal sections, with rows of symmetrical windows. At the top, the entablature is crowned with 18th-century fogaréus (sculptural ornaments in the form of a flame) set on plinths and respective pilasters.
From the 1940s onwards, successive campaigns were planned for the rehabilitation of the vast college compound, so severely adulterated by its many occupants since 1836, in order to adequately accommodate a number of university institutes and services. The most significant interventions involved, among others, the renovation of the main courtyard and the refurbishment and harmonisation of the rooms, corridors, atriums and staircases, which were decorated with panels of tiles reproducing 17th-century originals.
The church, whose design was attributed to architect Baltazar Álvares, was finally destroyed in 1932, to allow for the opening of the Rua do Arco da Traição.
The group of buildings is for the most part well preserved.
All the spaces will undergo some form of intervention – either maintenance or rehabilitation – so as to eliminate spurious or inconsistent elements and, above all, to update the equipment and infrastructure network.
The enhancement of the exterior spaces is proposed, in particular the southeastern terraces, which will continue to be used by the cafeteria, and the inner court, an important common space of the building.
The current purpose of the building will be maintained.