The classical vernacular

Pergola by Portuguese architect Raul Lino. (Old Portuguese Stuff)

Pergola by Portuguese architect Raul Lino. (Old Portuguese Stuff)

These capitals above by Portuguese architect Raul Lino (1879-1974), with more shots linked to down below, were sent by Malcolm Millais, author of Exploding the Myths of Modern Architecture (2009), as an antidote (I think) to the snow in Providence, of which I have complained. They were taken by his friends Alexandre Gamelas and Catarina Santos, who have a delightful blog called Old Portuguese Stuff, where they write:

The delights of traditional architecture designed purposely to look vernacular. Raul Lino is the master at this game; his houses could have never grown organically over time or been built by an unlearned master-builder. The ensemble is consistently designed throughout, using vernacular details as any American or British architect in the early 20th c. – as a means for Invention within Tradition.

This open porch, covered with a pergola, is such an example. All the elements, rails, paving, pergola, columns, door and window surrounds, come from an extensive catalogue of parts and styles, and are here combined to create an ensemble [that] is coherent, traditional and naturally “of its own time,” without ever aiming for it.

Ah, the snow’s already beginning to melt!

About David Brussat

This blog was begun in 2009 as a feature of the Providence Journal, where I was on the editorial board and wrote a weekly column of architecture criticism for three decades. Architecture Here and There fights the style wars for classical architecture and against modern architecture, no holds barred. History Press asked me to write and in August 2017 published my first book, "Lost Providence." I am now writing my second book. My freelance writing on architecture and other topics addresses issues of design and culture locally and globally. I am a member of the board of the New England chapter of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art, which bestowed an Arthur Ross Award on me in 2002. I work from Providence, R.I., where I live with my wife Victoria, my son Billy and our cat Gato. If you would like to employ my writing and editing to improve your work, please email me at my consultancy,, or call 401.351.0457. Testimonial: "Your work is so wonderful - you now enter my mind and write what I would have written." - Nikos Salingaros, mathematician at the University of Texas, architectural theorist and author of many books.
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3 Responses to The classical vernacular

  1. Thanks for the mention David!


  2. I love the logo image atop your blog. Can you please tell me more about it?


  3. Very interesting post about Raul Lino. Have you seen his beautiful beach house in Azenhas do Mar? We have a photo here:


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