Fernando Távora

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Fernando Luís Cardoso de Meneses de Tavares e Távora, ComSE, simply known as Fernando Távora (Porto, August 25, 1923 - Matosinhos, September 3, 2005), was a renowned Portuguese architect and professor.

The sixth of seven children and third of three sons of José Pinto Tavares de Mendonça Ferrão or José Ferrão de Tavares e Távora and wife Maria José do Amaral Ferrão Lobo Machado or Maria José Lobo de Sousa Machado Cardoso de Meneses, of the Viscounts of Paço de Nespereira, he inherited from his mother the House of Covilhã. He graduated in architecture from the Porto School of Fine Arts (the current school of architecture of the University of Porto) in 1952. Having sat the examination in Fine Composition for Professor of Architecture, he was later invited to become a Professor at the school.

Later on, Távora became "President of the Ad Hoc Committee of the Faculty of Architecture at the University of Porto" and university professor at the same faculty, as well as professor of the Department of Architecture at the Faculty of Sciences and Technology of the University of Coimbra, by which he was made a Doctor Honoris Causa.

He was granted a scholarship by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and the Institute for Culture in the United States and Japan in 1960. He took part in the late 50's "Survey on Portuguese Architecture" and was the author of several essays, namely "O Problema da Casa Portuguesa" (Lisbon, 1947) and "Da Organização do Espaço" (Porto, 1962 and 1982).

Besides his academic career, Távora worked as an architect for Porto Town Council, consultant to Vila Nova de Gaia Town Council, consultant in the "Commissariat on the Urban Renovation of the Ribeira/Barredo" (Porto) project, consultant in the "Technical Bureau of the Northern Planning Commission", and consultant in the "Local Technical Bureau of Guimarães Town Council".

Távora's work was exhibited at exhibitions around the world, including the Smithsonian Institution, Washington; "Artes Plásticas I and II" at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon; "Eleven Architects from Oporto", Lisbon; "Architectures à Porto", Clemont Ferrand; Europália 1991, Brussels; and the Venice Biennial.

He was awarded several prizes in architecture, as well as the Golden Medal of the city of Porto and the Order of St James of the Sword.

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