Architecture and the Gesamtkunstwerk: Alberto Pessoa’s Furniture Design


  • Susana Constantino




Modern Movement, Modern architecture, Modern housing


In the post-war disciplinary discourse, the theme of architecture as a synthesis emerges evoking the idea of gesamtkunstwerk, this time associated with society’s collective spaces. This debate sought the integration of functionalism with a more humanist approach as an attempt to bring together architecture and society. Using as support two projects designed by Portuguese architect Alberto Pessoa (1919-1985), this text will explore the architect’s design of furniture as a fundamental token in the search for a Modern global design, to discuss one instance of how the idea of modern architecture as a synthesis of several disciplines was pursued.

How to Cite

Constantino, S. (2012). Architecture and the Gesamtkunstwerk: Alberto Pessoa’s Furniture Design. Docomomo Journal, (47), 28–33.







Author Biography

Susana Constantino

Architect from the Department of Architecture, Faculty of Science and Technology opf the University of Coimbra (1992–1999). Master in Rehabilitation of Built Space at the Department of Architecture and the Department of Civil Engineering of the FCTUC (2009) with a dissertation entitled “Arquitectura de Cine–Teatros: evolução e registo [1927–1945]. Equipamentos Culturais e de lazer em Portugal no Estado Novo”. (“Architecture of Cinemas–Theatres: evolution and register [1927–1945]. Cultural and leisure facilities in Portugal in the New State.” Author and co–author of projects and works in different categories such as housing, rehabilitation of civic spaces, commercial and public buildings and ephemeral constructions. She participated as Monitor at the International Seminar on Urban Rehabilitation of Mindelo in Cabo Verde, organized by the Centre for Studies of the Department of Architecture of FCTUC, Atelier MAR e Mindelo International School of Art. She collaborates with the Center for Studies in the Department of Architecture of FCTUC (2009–2011).