Docomomo International alerts for the eventual intervention and possible adulteration of the original features of Church Nossa Senhora da Assunção, in Almada.
This church was designed by the Portuguese architects Nuno Teotónio Pereira, founder of the Movement for the Renovation of Religious Art (Movimento de Renovação de Arte Religiosa – MRAR), Luís de Almeida Pereira and Nuno Portas, the last president of MRAR.
The Church of Almada stands as an example of a new attitude of the Catholic Church (as an institution and its physical spaces) towards its congregation – a Church closer to the people, relying on simplicity rather than ostentation and opulence, characteristics commonly associated with religious buildings at the time, to spread its message and believes.
The Church of Almada was thus designed with the intention to bring the community closer to the Eucharist: different plans of seats are displayed around the altar, cutting the empty space and creating various entries for natural light. The structure and finishings are mostly done in uncoated concrete and wood.
Until three years ago, all the interventions to the church had been done in accordance to the architect Nuno Teotónio Pereira, who in 2012 was awarded by SNPC in the name of the Catholic Church the Tree of Life Award, but has since died.
The Church of Almada stands today in good conditions and does not show signs of degradation or need of repair. However, a proposal has been presented to the parish for new interventions to the church that go against the original principals established in its design.
Docomomo International wishes to express its full support to the ongoing efforts to preserve the Church of Almada, believing that it stands as an example of modern, and religious, architecture which deserves to be respectfully kept.
A petition has been launched aiming to bring awareness to this cause.
Sign the Petition here: website [in Portuguese]