The Architecture of the House as an Expression of Identity: Topoanalysis of Guilherme de Almeida's Historic House Museum


  • Raissa de Albuquerque Gameleira University of Lisbon and Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte



architecture, historic house museum, home


The architectural elements and interior design choices observable within a historic house museum of an intimate memory can express an identity. Such institutions often build narratives about the home, relating the moment when the honouree had inhabited the house to the cultural aspects of the visitors of the museum. In this sense, a physical and visible world (aspects related to the architecture) reflect intangible, abstract elements (non-physical aspects related to memory). The home thus transcends its sense of shelter to denote traces of personality and functional habits. When transforming a house into a museum while preserving the physical elements, institutions will do well in recognising such aspects as sources of information about the former residents. For that matter, this paper suggests a phenomenological analysis as the means to understand identity traces in spatial elements of a preserved home. As an example of the existent relations between physical and non-physical aspects of architecture and memory, we present a literature review and the analysis of a single case study: the Historic House Museum Casa Guilherme de Almeida, located in São Paulo, Brazil. This study is part of the doctoral thesis developed by the author, which integrates other cases and methods.