The last constructed work of Porto’s celebrated Beaux-Arts Architect is something of a mistery. It made for a beautiful drawing, yet in reality remains a starkly austere granite cube with little more than two cypresses flanking it for some relief. Not quite Art Deco, not quite Estado Novo minimal classicism, it takes the romanesque buttress, gigantifies it and turns it into a sort of theme running around the building. The entry is also interesting: divided in two small doors, under a strange tympanum made of a triangle instersecting a grid.
The whole is unforgiving and massive in shape and detail, like the mountain of enormous boulders on which it stands. It makes for a formidable element in the landscape and for a singular work in the Architect’s career with little apparent forebears and fewer descendants still.
Santuário da Penha, Guimarães