This conference examines the contribution of International Exhibitions to the design and construction of open space, from the scale of the garden to the scale of the city, by looking at the example of Porto’s Crystal Palace gardens. Inaugurated 150 years ago to host the International Exhibition of 1865, the gardens remain one of the city’s reference spaces. We will also look at the Paris International Exhibition of 1937, which was planned by Jacques Gréber, the author of the project for the Serralves Park, a space that is a reference in terms of landscape design and of crucial importance to the contemporary life of Porto and the country.

While the Crystal Palace gardens were the first, large-scale and modern recreational space in the city, Serralves Park was the last recreational estate to be built in Porto. For different reasons, their histories intersect with those of the International Exhibitions, whose meaning merits our reflection.

Several Exhibitions were organized between 1865 and 1937. With artistic, cultural and social effects of varying impact, these events revealed the concerns and beliefs of each time and place. The conference will look at the Exhibitions from this period which contribute direct or indirectly to the understanding of the Crystal Palace gardens, as well as to the public green spaces in Porto that appeared in the following decades and were influenced by the novelty and dynamics generated by the Palace gardens. On the other hand, the history of Serralves is closely linked to the Paris Exhibitions of 1925 – crucial to the aesthetical choices applied to the property – and of 1937, which saw Gréber in the role of chief-architect. Therefore, the goal is also to contribute to a deeper knowledge of a character essential to understanding Serralves in all its dimensions and pursue a line of research launched by the Serralves Foundation from early on.

The conference’s target audiences are professionals, researchers and students in the fields of urban and garden design, as well as the general public interested in the history of Porto and Serralves.

http://www.serralves.pt/en/activities/international-expositions-between-garden-and-townscape-from-the-porto-crystal-palace-1865-to-the-paris-exhibition-1937/