Thirteen Architectures
Amâncio Guedes


Pancho Guedes In London, 1980

©Monica Pidgeon

I am a Portuguese. I was born in Lisbon some 55 years ago. Most of my young life was spent in the Portuguese colonies. When I was about 3 years old we went out to join my father who was a medical doctor in the Portuguese colonial service in the Gulf of Guinea. And from then on, all through my childhood and youth, we were moving between one colony and another, first in the Gulf of Guinea to Sao Tome and Principe and later in Mozambique, and even within those colonies we moved from one small village to a city, back again somewhere else. Then somehow when I was adolescent, I was shipped off to South Africa to finish my secondary education and to study afterwards architecture at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. When I finished, I returned to Mozambique and began to practice. I then worked for 25 years in Mozambique until I left and returned to the University to be Head of the School of Architecture there. I have worked in all kinds of architectural styles. I have classified these and I think I can enumerate 25 architectures in my work, 25 separate and different architectures.


'Smiling Lion', Carreiro De Tiro, Lourenco Marques

©Amâncio Guedes

The first style - my most personal style, my most idiosyncratic manner, is "Stiloguedes". The section is of the 'Smiling Lion'. It is the section of a building I built for myself some 20 years ago, just round the corner from where we lived in Lourenco Marques in Mozambique. But it is no longer an architectural section. It is a section which is inhabited by various people and by certain buildings which are in this family of buildings in "Stiloguedes". The ground floor is occupied in the parking area by a naked lady, which I presume is my muse. On the first floor I lie next to my wife Dori. On the second floor there are three buildings: they are the brothers and sisters of the 'Smiling Lion'. The bakery, which I did for a bakers' co-operative in Lourenco Marques, and one building, an art club, Nucleo d'Art, which I never managed to build. Upstairs in the roof space are three of my assistants.

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