Conservation and restoration of drawings by Álvaro Machado belonging to Instituto Superior Técnico, Lisbon


The big conservative question that arose in relation to these documents – drawings and plans of the architect Álvaro Machado – and what could jeopardize their preservation in the short term was the fact that they were on capaline plates to which they adhered with glue of an unknown nature but presumably one of common commercial use.

At the gluing points there are already situations of migration of the glues to the front of the documents and consequent stains and small tears.

In addition to this aspect, the documents generally presented the following pathologies:

  • Surface dirt;
  • Fly droppings deposit;
  • Spot tears;
  • One-off gaps;
  • Folded corners;
  • Drawings on more fragile paper are generally deformed;


The purpose of the intervention was to safeguard and conserve the works, and for this purpose it was essential to remove the capaline plates where they were found and to remove the glue residues that were gradually causing their degradation.

Careful cleaning and sanitization of all drawings was also carried out and conservation and restoration actions were carried out at the points where necessary.

In all actions, the ethical principles of intervention in conservation and restoration were strictly respected:

  • Principle of compatibility – whereby all materials used must be compatible with the original
  • Principle of stability – by which the materials have to be stable and allow a longer duration and preservation of the work in intervention
  • Principle of respect for the work – in which the preservation of the original and the initial spirit of the work is preserved and respected
Thus, the following treatments were performed:
  • Careful removal of documents from the capaline support using appropriate manual tools
  • Removal of adhesive residues from documents
  • Individualized verification of the state of conservation of each documents and, in cases where this is necessary:
    • General hygiene
    • Pre-fixation of elements
    • Mechanical cleaning with removal of rust spots and generalized stains caused by fly droppings.
    • Reinforcement of fragile areas, union of tears and filling in gaps.
    • Planning of creases and folds, with or without reinforcement (depending on the state of the support in each case).
    • Chromatic reintegration in specific cases after filling in its gaps
  • General clening
  • restauro de desenhosRemoval of tapes

  • Filling  gaps

  • Filling application on pigmented Japanese paper

  • Adhesive application and placement of Remey for protection

restauro de desenhos

  • Removal of excess adhesive with the aid of a folder

  • Applying heat with a hot spatula to allow the adhesive to dry.

  • Reinforcements
  • Planning

  • Chromatic reintegration

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