Almeida Ribeiro Avenue
Macao, Macau, China
Equipment and Infrastructures
The opening of this avenue through the Chinese neighbourhood in the second decade of the 20th century, within the conceptual framework of the hygienist urbanism behind the transformations of Paris and most major Western cities, represented a radical change in the city’s development up to that point. It also had determinant consequences for the future of Macau, as it linked the Inner Harbour to the Outer Harbour. Along with its tranversal streets, it became the par excellence commercial thoroughfare, accentuated by the colourful signage and advertising.
Its opening led to the construction of a notable group of buildings, with a commercial arcade over the sidewalk and housing on the upper floors. Put up from the 1910s to the 1930s, they form a very original urban unit marked by an eclectic taste evident in the façades they configure, from neoclassical revivalism to the most modernist style and including art nouveau and art deco tastes. One of the most unique aspects is the sequence of arcades still found on the buildings housing the Health Services, the Central Library, the Historic Archive, the Contemporary Art Centre and the Ricci Institute.
In 1982 and 1989-93 the Macau Cultural Institute promoted a campaign to restore and maintain the many building façades comprising this spectacular group, thus alleviating the gradual deterioration under way since the 1960s.