Beira Municipal Council (former residence Araújo de Lacerda)
Beira, Sofala, Mozambique
Equipment and Infrastructures
Located in Município Square, it has two floors, with about 15 rooms besides the main chamber. The basement holds the archives. After the demolition of the headquarters belonging to the Military Post of Aruângua in the late 19th century, and more or less on the same spot, a wood and zinc two-storey building with a fine outlook was built. It was owned by the chief of the Health Department of the Company of Mozambique and director of the hospital, José Araújo de Lacerda. It served as the headquarters for several businesses such as the Companhia da África Oriental (East Africa Company).
It was demolished in the second decade of the 20th century and the construction of another building in brick, property of the same owner, started. In 1928, by the time of Lacerdas’ death, it was considered the best building in the city. It was practically finished (only missing the rear section fronting the neighbouring police station). According to his will, the building became property of the Comissão da Administração Urbana da Beira (Urban Administration Committee of Beira) which established all its departments there.
On the 8th February 1943, as the roof and verandas needed complete restoration work, the Technical Bureau of the Town Hall set up a competition for a preliminary project regarding the construction of a new façade (after demolishing the old verandas). The project presented by architect José Luís Porto (1883-1965) surpassed all expectations and consequently the former idea of another municipal building was abandoned. The project was approved on the 8th June 1943 and immediately executed. The building took on the appearance it preserves to the present.