Os Azulejos do Porto (The tiles of Porto) is a project created in June 2016 that aims to build a public digital archive in HD of the tiles that covers the facades of some buildings in Porto, Portugal. Our aim is to help this heritage become known and preserve it from decline, damage and its consequent disappearance. We are also making a research about each tile, trying to find out as much information as possible.
The decoration and coating of facades with tiles is something made in Porto from the 19th century, and it’s a very important part of its artistic heritage. It’s estimated to exist more than 1.000 tiles designs. Although the project is today quite far from photographing all of them, we are working hard and constantly to increase the size of our archive.
All the pictures are taken with a digital camera in HD and are digitally retouched to reach an image as accurate as possible to the original tile. With every retouched image we create a pattern of 4×4 or 8×8 tiles to appreciate the visual effect they create when placed over facades.
This project also includes a research work about every tile. Our will is to discover as much information as possible about every design, like the author, the factory where it was made and the period.
We are aware of the difficulty of this task (during 19th and 20th century in Porto and Gaia there were 19 factories making tiles), but its something we are doing with love and completing little by little, consulting experts, researchers, related bibliography, doctoral thesis about portuguese tiling and related websites.
For this task we are open to suggestions to complete our archive. If you have any useful information and want to share it with us drop us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You are all invited to look around our archive. Hope you like it!