Photo: Historic Azulejos tile mural, Manor House rear porch, 1984

Like many architects of the era, Fred Bassetti & Company did not place much value on self-promotion.  The work was supposed to speak for itself, but this was obviously problematic for a secretive project on the other side of the world.

During design and construction, the project was published in general articles about embassies and the Foriegn Buildings Office (FBO), showing drawings and construction photos.  When construction was completed in 1983, however, there were no plans to have the project published or even formally photographed, particularly given its remote location.

Therefore, I proposed to get the project published myself.  Never mind that I had no experience and was too naïve to know that projects were typically published because their architects used renowned architectural photographers and established publicity agents.

In 1984, soon after the project opened, I obtained permission from the embassy to visit and take photographs, wrote an article,  and was able to get it published in A+U.


Loeffler, Jane C.  The Architecture of Diplomacy.  New York: 2011: pp. 238-40, 285, Fig. 126.

No author listed.  “United States Embassy and Consulate, Lisbon, Portugal.”  A+U, February 1985, No. 173: pp. 53-58.  Text and photos by Christopher Kirk.

Slayton, William L.  “Federal architecture, Part two: In search of good design: selecting an architect.”
Inland Architect, 1984 vol. 28, no. 2: pp. 30-36.

Knight III, Carleton.  “Significant Clients: Slayton at State.”  AIA Journal (February 1983): pp. 36-42.

Gordon, Barclay F.  “America Turns a Fresh Face Overseas.”  Architectural Record (December 1980): pp. 96-113.