Revisiting Chelas. In Search of the Promised Urbanness





Modern Movement, Modern architecture, Modern housing


Chelas is situated in the east of Lisbon and corresponds to the third and final phase of a large-scale planning operation that began in the late 1950s, covering an area of roughly 737 hectares, equivalent to 1/10 of the city’s total area. The Master Plan for Chelas, approved in 1964, was marked by the revision of the principles of modern planning and represents a landmark in town planning in Portugal. The protracted nature of the plan’s implementation and the failure to complete all of its programs seriously compromised the success of the presented proposal. This article proposes a reading of the ideological context that influenced its conception and design, as well as of the factors that conditioned its urbanization process.

How to Cite

Heitor, T. V. (2016). Revisiting Chelas. In Search of the Promised Urbanness. Docomomo Journal, (55), 58–65.







Author Biography

Teresa V. Heitor, University of Lisbon

(b. 1959, Lisbon, Portugal). Full professor of architecture at Técnico – University of Lisbon. She has research expertise in the area of spatial analysis within the theoretical and analytical framework known as “space syntax”. Her current research interests include the understanding of the structure of space, shape and form and their functional and cultural implications. She has worked and published extensively in the interrelated fields of architecture and urban design.


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