The Bank of Materials of Porto is one of the newest initiatives of the city authorities in the realm of built heritage. It was opened in 2010, with the idea to collect the repetitive elements from the Porto façades: the ones being in disrepair, or the ones about to be demolished or modified. If a citizen needs to rehabilitate a façade, the Bank of materials provides them exemplars of the repetitive elements (be it tiles, stucco, stone or cast iron details) at no cost at all.
Not only this is useful in restoration of built heritage, but it’s also enchanting to see examples of materials used for construction and decoration in Porto over centuries, all at one place! Most of the exhibits are ceramics and tiles, dating from 15th century to the recent times, but there are also hundreds of stuccoes, various wooden, stone and iron artifacts. Such as ancient street or commerce name plaques, that were duly saved (while many of them actually still proudly remain on the buildings).
Porto is the city of respect for the things old, I deduce!
Many thanks to Zé for this discovery 🙂