I wanted to share some of my recent drawings from a university study trip to Porto in northern Portugal. This magnificent city is characterised by its intricate tiled facades, narrow cobbled streets and undulating terracotta roofs that spring up from the Douro Valley.
Despite the beauty, behind the scenes much of the city’s architectural fabric is slowly crumbling away and at risk of being lost forever. Due to a rental freezing strategy, implemented in Porto under the dictatorship Government, many landlords couldn’t afford to reinvest back into their properties. Consequently hundreds of homes were abandoned and left to deteriorate. Staggeringly 32% of the city centre is currently in a state of decay. The following extracts from my sketchbook attempt to capture the unique character of the city as well as document some of these abandoned buildings and structures.
Rua de Janeiro, Porto.
Typical Elevation, Rua das Flores, Porto.
Derelict Buildings, Unknown Street, Porto.
Sketching inside Livraria Lello & Irmão, Porto.
View from Sé do Porto (Porto Cathedral)
Rua da Fonte Taurina, Porto.
Sketching inside the Palácio da Bolsa, Porto.