Paolo Marcolin (Escola Superior Artística do Porto – ESAP);
Isabel Matias (Escola Superior Artística do Porto – ESAP);
Joaquim Flores (Escola Superior Artística do Porto – ESAP)

Building the Modernist Rural Landscape in the Salazar’s Regime.
The Agricultural Colony of Boalhosa

The construction of the modernist rural landscape in Portugal bears the mark of the Junta de Colonização Interna, an institution created ad hoc in 1936 by the regime led by Salazar. The colonies which were actually completed and whose original structures remain until today, are not only regarded as statements of a relatively recent past, but above all, as more or less singular experiences that, having assumed the assumptions of modernity, have sought to establish continuity with certain aspects of landscape and vernacular architecture. This research is included in the Portuguese case studies of the Modscapes project, aiming to test the methodology proposed for the analysis of the physical legacies of these colonies, applying it on the Agricultural Colony of Boalhosa. The methodology combines GIS and mapping analysis, covering several layers of information embarking natural and anthropogenic spatial data which allow to understand the landscape transformation since the settlement of the colony, accordingly with the concept of historical GIS (Gregory and Healey, 2007). Concurrently, a fieldwork survey was conducted to identify the current Colony’s physical legacy, recurring to the methods of visual perception and integrative approach (Bell, 2012). From the analysis undertaken it was verified that this constitutes an extraordinary and paradigmatic example of the construction of the Portuguese Modernist Rural Landscape. This Colony, planned from a political idea aiming to promote an ideology of agrarian reform through scientific and technical knowledge applied to hydraulic, agronomic and social interventions (Silva 2011), gave way to a rural landscape deeply marked by those values of identity, rurality and order advocated by the regime (Guerreiro, 2016). From the reading of the structure and landscape image of this colony, it was verified that these legacies were accomplished through the use of an autonomous design methodology, which considers the local culture and respects both the morphological and physiographic characteristics of the existing site, leading to the creation of modern landscapes strongly tied to the local identities.

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GUERREIRO, F. (2015). Colónias Agrícolas Portuguesas construídas pela Junta de Colonização Interna entre 1936 e 1960. A casa, o assentamento, o território, Tese de Doutoramento, Faculdade de Arquitectura da Universidade do Porto, Porto.
GREGORY, I.N., and ELL, P. (2007). Historical GIS: technologies, methodologies, and scholarship. Cambridge University Press.
SILVA, M. E. (2001). A propriedade e os seus sujeitos: colonização interna e colónias agrícolas durante o Estado Novo, Tese de Mestrado, FCSH – Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Lisboa.
Full-text available here: DOI: 10.1051/SHSCONF/20196307002