Detail from the main façade of the Imprensa Nacional building
Detail from the main façade of the Imprensa Nacional building

The Imprensa Nacional building in the process of being classified as a monument of public interest

November 22, 2012

The Imprensa Nacional (Official Printing Office) building is in the process of being classified as a monument of public interest, in accordance with a proposal by the Directorate General of Cultural Heritage and the Secretary of State for Culture, in a draft decision published in the II Series of the Diário da República, (Official Journal), dated the 19 November.

The current Imprensa Nacional building was built on the site previously occupied by the fifteenth century palace of Fernando Soares de Noronha, on the site of Cotovia. This area was not significantly affected by the 1755 earthquake and its dimensions and structures were suitable for adaptation for the installation of the Royal Press in 1769.

Subsequently, in 1895, the old building was deemed unsuitable for the necessities of a manufacturing establishment in continuous development and was demolished for the construction of a new building. The plans for this building were drawn up by the architect Domingos Parente da Silva, who was also responsible for the Paços do Concelho building, the headquarters of the Municipality of Lisbon, among other projects.

Meanwhile, the original design of the Imprensa Nacional building underwent alterations made by the engineers Vítor Gomes Encarnação, Veiga da Cunha and António Luís Ramos, responsible for the construction of several wings of the buildings. After being interrupted on various occasions, construction was completed in around 1913, defining an architectural complex that can still be seen today.

Structurally, this building is made up of four large bodies, which are connected by stairways, covered corridors and galleries. The two central structures - with the largest dimensions - are joined together by an annex constructed between them. Emphasis should be placed on the main façade, which has large windows and an entranceway topped off with a circular pediment. In aesthetic terms, an interpretation of Pombaline architecture is evident.

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