Porto's Art Deco shrine

Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art

The Serralves Foundation in Porto has a rich historical and cultural heritage. The park, Art Deco villa and Museum of Contemporary Art have been classified as a "National Monument". The foundation's cultural programs and exhibitions center around key contemporary social issues.

The villa is a unique example of Art Deco architecture, considered one of the most notable example of the style in Portugal. Built in the 1930s as the private residence of the 2nd Count of Vizela, Carlos Alberto Cabral, the home was designed and furnished by a roster of notable European architects and interior designers. The estate remained in private hands until its purchase by the Portuguese State. Serralves opened to the public in 1987. Refinements in the villa's interior decoration include blue limestone and exotic hardwood floors; marble-lined bathrooms with stone-carved bathtubs; geometrically patterned plasterwork; a curved library staircase; and a wrought iron gate separating public and private spaces.

The 19th century chapel was preserved in its original form, inserted into the overall design of the villa.

The Museum

Contemporary, eclectic

The Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art is set harmoniously into a gentle slope of the park, where a number of large-scale sculptures are exhibited. The geometric lines of the building complement the Art Deco villa across the park. The Museum, which opened in 1991, was designed by Pritiker prize winner Álvaro Siza.

An Opaque Wind Park in Six Folds, by Haegue Yang. Its five towers and turbine vents were inspired by the traditional wind towers of the Middle East.

The museum's galleries feature a changing program of established and emerging artists, and a collection of Portuguese and international contemporary art. The architect's plans for the museum and other structures are on exhibit in the library.

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