Town Hall and Prison

Town Hall and Prison

Caucaia, Ceará, Brazil

Equipment and Infrastructures

Caucaia’s Town Hall and Prison is a work of popular architecture built according to Portuguese traditions. It follows the traditional plan used in Brazilian Town Hall and Prison buildings, with the jail on the ground floor and the council chambers on the first floor, and was built soon after the town was chartered. On 25th May, 1765, the town councillors ordered 60$000 to be paid to the stonemason Francisco de Mendonça Pinto for the contract to build the Town Hall and Prison. In 1781, the Fortaleza authorities commissioned a town hall and prison built of stone and mortar along the lines of the one in Vila Real do Soure. The Caucaia building has a rectangular plan with two floors. The walls of the ground floor, about 80 centimetres thick, are of grouted stone and those of the first floor, 60 centimetres thick, made of brick. The openings of the main façade (west), the entrance door and window, are not in the axis of the masonry wall. The bay of the main façade has a ratio of √3 vis-à-vis the width of the wall, while the side façade measurements are quite close to the golden ratio, following Portuguese tradition. The hipped roof has beira-sob-beira eaves, with an arris, simply resolved. The building was listed by federal law in 1973.

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