Local and Global Modern Thinking. Designing with Climate in Mozambique: School Buildings Production






Modern Movement, Modern architecture, Modern housing


The novelty of modern architecture in the former Portuguese African colonies derives from the fact that the ideology of the Modern Movement was interpreted locally. This built heritage is represented in terms of its responsiveness to the physical environment in which it operates, by means of Design with Climate–A Bioclimatic Approach to Architectural Regionalism (Olgyay, 1963). Combining tradition and innovation, this approach sought to address the specific socio–cultural context within which modern architecture was conceived (Kultermann, 1969). With the purpose of contributing to the documentation and conservation of modern heritage in Africa, interpreted in the light of these assumptions (Quintã, 2007), this paper addresses a particular architectural program – school buildings – widely developed and built in Mozambique, between 1955 and 1975, the year of independence for the former Portuguese colonies. Initially led by architect Fernando Mesquita, as part of the Public Works Services of the Province of Mozambique, it was reconfigured and evolved through various levels of education, ranging from primary to high schools. Extensively built in urban and rural territory, and even gathering later contributions from other authors, the built output of this program remains a prominent feature in the Mozambican territory.

How to Cite

Ferreira, Z. (2013). Local and Global Modern Thinking. Designing with Climate in Mozambique: School Buildings Production. Docomomo Journal, (48), 83–87. https://doi.org/10.52200/48.A.TS2FVWD2



Author Biography

Zara Ferreira, Instituto Superior Tecnico

Zara Ferreira is an intern architect and research fellow at the Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture at Instituto Superior Tecnico. This research has been developed under her architecture master’s thesis, “O Moderno e o Clima na África Lusófona. Arquitectura Escolar em Moçambique: o Programa de Fernando Mesquita” (1955–1975), Lisbon, IST–UTL, 2012. Supervised by Prof. Ana Tostões (IST–UTL) and Maria Manuel Oliveira (EA–UM), under the research project (PTDC/AUR–AQI/103229/2008) EWV–Exchanging Worlds Visions, developed by IST–UM.


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