On different scales: the architecture of Hospital-Colônia Rovisco Pais from the perspective of doctor Fernando Bissaya Barreto

Sandra Xavier

In 1938, Portuguese physician Fernando Bissaya Barreto spearheaded the creation of a 'nursing home for lepers' in the center of Portugal, away from big towns and cities, but still accessible from any part of the country. Opened in 1947, Hospital-Colônia Rovisco Pais followed the model of a colony/hospital/hospice, and was divided symmetrically into buildings of equal features and numbers for both sexes. According to a disciplinary, non-exclusionary rationale, the urban design, building design and furniture and fittings were conceived, under the direct influence of Bissaya Barreto, as instruments for intervention in the physical and moral bodies of the patients, and also, on a different scale, for the control and modification of Portuguese society as a whole.

leprosy; hospital architecture; Fernando Bissaya Barreto (1886-1974); Portugal; twentieth century


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