Machado Lima / Bolhão Market

Bolhão Market Rehabilitation project: architectural and political strategies 1990-2020

Authors: Rita Machado Lima, Faculdade de Arquitectura da Universidade Lusófona do Porto; Nuno Valentim Lopes, Faculdade de Arquitectura da Universidade do Porto / Centro de Estudos de Arquitectura e Urbanismo

Supervisor: Graça Correia

Research stage: initial doctoral stage

Category: Paper

Affiliation: PORTO / Faculdade de Arquitectura da Universidade do Porto e Centro de Estudos de Arquitectura e Urbanismo


Rehabilitating historical public markets in city centres has been a political, human, and architectural challenge.

The goal of this paper, considering the case study of the Bolhão Market, is to contribute to further reflection on a much needed market aggiornamento and the modernisation of markets in historical buildings to meet current legal requirements - always bearing in mind material, non-material values, as well as the architecture and purpose of each building.

In the last thirty years the Bolhão Market had several rehabilitation proposals. Therefore, and by way of a comparative analysis to all proposed programmes and respective answers given by the authors of each project, this paper seeks to cross these four visions and models, enabling further reflection on different political and architectural strategies. This interpretative approach also allows for an understanding of the hierarchy of identified values - tangible and non-tangible - and of the way architectural knowledge and culture have intertwined with the process of political decision.

Keywords: Bolhão market, rehabilitation project, political decision, tangible heritage, non-tangible heritage