Auditorium‐Art Gallery (present day House of Culture)

Auditorium‐Art Gallery (present day House of Culture)

Beira, Sofala, Mozambique

Equipment and Infrastructures

The journalist and poet Nuno Bermudes came up with the idea of the Auditorium in 1961. Later, in 1962, the Town Hall of Beira appointed an administrative commission which launched the competition for the plan of the building and drew up its legal statutes. The choice of the project sparked controversy. Contrary to the opinion given by the experts committee the administrative commission selected a second plan by Paulo de Melo Sampaio, Bernardino Vareta Ramalhete and José Augusto Moreira. The statutes were approved in 1964 (directive no. 17.938). These included three local associations – Grupo Dramático (theatre Company) Actor Eduardo Brazão, Cine-Clube and Centro de Cultura e Arte (Culture and Art Center). The municipality of Beira played a decisive role in its construction, by offering a plot with an area of 3,600 square metres and the sand necessary for the landfills, thus beginning a wide supportive movement towards the work. The Ministry of Overseas Affairs and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation financial support granted the project. The inhabitants of the city contributed with the larger amount. The first stake was placed on the 20th November 1965, and it was inaugurated (unofficially) on the 6th May 1972. It displays a huge external mural on the façade by Malangatana Valente Ngwenya.

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