CHAIR: Jorge Correia


  • Silvia Arroyo Duarte | Universidad de Panamá / Sistema Nacional de Investigación

The Royal Houses were the most important architectural ensemble of Panamá. Its original settlement was founded in 1519 and was the first Spanish city in the American Pacific. It grew to become a strategic point of interest and, despite its importance, the city relied on only two structures for its defense: a small fort (with space for only twelve soldiers and four pieces of artillery) and the Royal Houses. By 1671, the city was attacked by pirates, reduced to ruins, and abandoned. The Royal Houses had enormous prominence in the city´s landscape. With a dominant position, this construction was under constant remodeling during the 16th and 17th centuries, adapting to the environment and its various functions. The area was first chosen for the construction of a fortress. By 1586, it comprised of seven buildings, one constructed in masonry that contained the Tesorería, the Audiencia and the jails. The other six were houses that lodged public officials, built entirely of wood. The complex was protected with a ditch and a wooden fence. Since the 1530s the intention was to build a fortification around the Royal Houses. Several projects were designed, but none of them were built. By 1589, the buildings start to deteriorate. The “Audiencia” requests several inspections between 1589 and 1608. Clearly some repairs were made but no essential changes were done around the architectural complex until 1637, when the wooden structures were demolished with the intention to build a new architectural ensemble. The project was never constructed and by 1647, the masonry building was torn down. The fortress was never built, and according to the historic documents, communication between Spain and America was the fundamental problem. The construction became a point to transfer the knowledge and became a multicultural and diverse learning place. The objective of this research is to present the case study of the Royal Houses, the different fortification projects and the interaction between Spain and Panamá through historic documents, such as cartography, letters, and inspection reports, that will help to understand how the political-scientific enterprise worked in the isthmus of Panamá.

Silvia Arroyo Duarte has a bachelor’s degree in Structural Architecture at the Universidad de Santa María La Antigua. Master’s degree in Restoration of Architectural Monuments at Universidad Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) as well as a Masters in World Heritage at Work at Politecnico di Torino (PoliTo) and Universitá di Torino (UniTo), in collaboration with UNESCO and ILO. Awarded a scholarship from Secretaría Nacional de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación (SENACYT) to complete her Ph.D. in Architecture, Building, Urbanism and Landscape by Universidad Politècnica de València (UPV). At present, she is a professor and researcher of the Art Department at the Faculty of Architecture at Universidad de Panamá and researcher for the National Research System or Sistema Nacional de Investigación (SNI) from SENACYT.



  • Pedro Luengo | Universidad de Sevilla

The traditional interpretation of building techniques in the eighteenth-century Spanish Caribbean and the Philippines has emphasized Europeans’ technical transfer to their colonies, a phenomenon which also appears within Europe. Military engineers, trained in recently established royal academies, played a key role in the process. Any differences between these engineers’ proposals and preserved artifacts have been explained as a logical result of the lack of materials or skilful artisans in the colonies. This paper demonstrates that these European military engineers under Spanish command, in certain situations, maintained local techniques with very subtle modifications, while communicating back to Madrid about these innovations. To achieve this interpretive goal, three samples were selected, namely the fort of San Juan de Ulúa (Mexico), the forts and walls of San Francisco de Campeche (Mexico), and the walls of Manila (Philippines). New archival material will be examined, explaining this technical discussion between newly arrived engineers and native builders. Especially important with regard to this issue will be the use of cementing. The composition of mortars was very varied in terms of both ingredients and mixtures. This variation can be explained as a European adaptation to the materials available, but in some instances there are vestiges of prior building traditions. Furthermore, a formal analysis of building elements will be carried out to identify divergences with traditional European building techniques and similarities with other traditions, especially Chinese or pre-Hispanic conventions. A good example in this sense is the organization of stone rows. Thus, fortifications can be explained not simply as an example of imperial artistic imposition, but instead as engineers’ faith in local techniques and materials resulting in a cultural dialogue over several centuries, despite some recent scholarly interpretations.

Pedro Luengo is presently an associate professor of the History of Art Department in the Universidad de Sevilla. He received his PhD in History of Art from this institution. He has been visiting academic at different international institutions, such as San Agustin Museum (Manila), Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas (Mexico), European University Institute (Florence), the King´s College London, the Oxford University or Sapienza Univeristà. He has published several papers and book. More remarkable is the edition of his books titled “Intramuros: Arquitectura en Manila, 1739-1762”, “Manila, plaza fuerte. Ingenieros militares entre Europa, América y Asia” or “Manila, 1645”.



  • Clovis Ramiro Jucá Neto | Universidade Federal Do Ceará

Between 1703 and 1750, the military engineer Portuguese, Diogo da Silveira Veloso, settled in Recife – Pernambuco Captaincy. The professional moved intensely between the captaincies of the North, connecting remote places, spreading and assimilating knowledge, performing various functions ranging from teaching at the Recife School, surveys, interventions and elaboration of fortifications projects, to the construction of bridges and works in chancels of mother churches in urban centers on the coast of Pernambuco and Paraíba; in addition to verifying the existence of gold mines in in the hinterland of Icó, Ceará Captaincy. In 1713, with technical-scientific view he wrote two manuscripts on the survey of fortifications and “” strongholds”” in Pernambuco Captaincy and its annexes: the list of forts and strongholds that are built in the captaincy of Pernambuco, the state they are in and what was needed to put themselves in their last perfection and the list of forts and strongholds that are built and will continue in this coast of Pernambuco and its utilities. The reports enlighten the professional’s transit in the Captaincies of Northern Brazil. The surveys expose a wide panorama of his field activities as an engineer, revealing a broad knowledge of military architecture and construction techniques. In general lines, they describe the architecture, the program, the state of the fortifications, some material used in the constructions, the existing constructive problems and those related to the implantation at the site that could compromise the defense of the coast. In addition to the descriptive character, the reports assume a propositional attitude, indicating pragmatic solutions to the problems of implantation and construction, always in the light of local possibilities. This article intends to present the reports, observing the impressions of the professional about the problems, the limits of their actions and the application of their knowledge, considering the social physical conditioning factors of the places of implantation of the fortresses.

Clovis Ramiro Jucá Neto is an Associate Professor of Architecture in the Department of Architecture and Urbanism and Design at the Universidade Federal do Ceará-Brasil (UFC). Graduated in Architecture and Urbanism – UFC (1986); Master’s Degree in Architecture and Urbanism at Universidade Federal da Bahia (1992); Ph.D. in Architecture and Urbanism at Universidade Federal da Bahia; Postdoctoral research fellow at CHAM-FCSH/NOVA. He works in Architecture and Urbanism with an emphasis on history of urbanization and urbanism in Ceará in the 18th and 19th century, urban and rural architecture in Ceará in the 18th and 19th century and modern architecture in Fortaleza.



  • Isabelle Mendonça de Carvalho | Master’s Student in Architecture and Urbanism at the University of São Paulo
  • Beatriz Piccolotto Siqueira Bueno | Associate professor at the School of Architecture and Urbanism, University of São Paulo

This work aims to contribute to the mapping of engineers who worked from 1761 to 1822, in the field of cartography and mining, with emphasis on Acaraú hinterlands, located in the captaincy of Siará Grande. The circulation of these engineers, responsible for mapping this region, reveals, in maps, other circumstances: the presence of saltpetre, silver and gold mines in the Ibiapaba mountains. An important case is the arrival of the French mining engineer, Jean Fontaneille, by orders of the Portuguese Crown, aiming to explore silver mines in this part of Acaraú hinterlands, already mentioned by the Dutch in the 16th century. The starting point is the Brazilian National Library cartographic heritage, with the following maps: ”Carta geográfica da Capitania do Piauhi, e parte das adjacentes”, by Henrique Antonio Galluzzi (1761); ”Mapa Geographicé da Capitania do Seará”, by Mariano Gregório do Amaral (1800); ”Planta da Comarca do Ceará grande, e séquito pelo certão athe a Cidade da Bahia de Todos os Santos”, by Amador Verissimo de Aleteia and Luís dos Santos Vilhena (1801); ”Carta Topográphica da capitania do Seará que a S.A.R. O príncipe Regente Nosso Senhor dedica”, by Luiz Barba Alardo de Menezes (1812); ”Carta da capitania do Ceará: levantada por ordem do Governador Manoel Ignacio de Sampaio”, authored by Antonio José da Silva Paulet (1818).

Isabelle Mendonça de Carvalho is Master’s Student in Architecture and Urbanism at the University of São Paulo. Bachelor’s degree in Architecture and Urbanism from Universidade de Fortaleza (2018). She is currently a master’s student at the School of Architecture and Urbanism at Universidade de São Paulo, where develops research and documentation of cattlefarms and the landscape of the Acarau’s hinterlands, northern region of Ceará, Brazil.

Beatriz Piccolotto Siqueira Bueno is Associate professor at the School of Architecture and Urbanism, University of São Paulo. Earned degrees in History from Universidade de São Paulo (1990) and Visual Arts from Fundação Armando Álvares Penteado (1988), as well as a doctorate in Architecture and Urbanism from Universidade de São Paulo (FAUUSP, 2018). She is an associate professor at the School of Architecture and Urbanism, Universidade de São Paulo, where she has taught History of Urbanization and Urbanism, since 2002. Awarded CNPQ- PQ2 productivity grant since 2012 by Brazil’s Federal Government (Science and Technology Ministry – National Council for Scientific and Technological Development).


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