Civil Engineering 2007

Santíssima Trindade Church
José Mota Freitas – ETECLDA

Further information

The Jury of the Secil Civil Engineering Award in 2007 decided to recognize the Church of the Santíssima Trindade in Fatima, with structural design by Engineer José Fonseca da Mota Freitas as part of the design company ETEC Ltd, in which he is a managing partner.

The work has a construction area of about 40,000 m2 and uses large volumes of grey concrete and white concrete. The Main Contractor is the Santuário de Fátima and Somague Engenharia was the general contractor.

With a design by the architect Alexandros Tombazis, the Church of the Santíssima Trindade has a capacity of 8,633 seats. The work area was 35,673 m2 and the gross floor area was 38,516 m2. It has a diameter (Assembly area) of 125 metres. The pre-stressed main beams are 182.5m long, with the largest free span measuring 80 m.

The construction of the Santíssima Trindade was covered by quality mark LNEC and throughout its implementation was characterized by elaborate procedures under quality control, safety and environment processes.

The steel and concrete materials, as natural elements that are integrated into specific production procedures, were subject to strict control. The concrete, in particular, was thoroughly analysed in numerous tests that led to the final approval of the compositions to be used in the construction. The fact that the work included grey concrete and white concrete substantially increased the detailed study implemented.

José António Fonseca da Mota Freitas was born in Chaves on 18 April, 1938. Shortly after his birth his family went to Angola as his father was an army officer who had been mobilized to that country.

He returned in 1945 after the 2nd World War and went to live in Vila Real, again due to his father’s profession; this was where he went to Primary School. In late 1949, again for the above-mentioned reason, he went back to Angola from where he returned in 1952.

From this date his family settled permanently in Porto. He attended the Liceu D. Manuel II and completed his Secondary Education with a classification of 17 points.

After three years at the Faculty of Sciences of the U.P. and many more in the Engineering Faculty, he finished the Course in Civil Engineering in 1964, with a final mark of 17 points.

As a student he funded his studies by giving lessons to university students, classes in schools and in the Faculty of Sciences. During this period he was very involved in sport (international athletics and several times national handball champion) and was a choral singer in the O.U.P.

In January 1965 he was called up for obligatory military service: he was a recruit in Tancos, in the Practical School of Engineering, with more or less extended spells in the Engineering Headquarters 1 (Pontinha) and the Headquarters in Porto, once again in Tancos, from where he was mobilized to Angola. As a recruit he had an accident that resulted in him having motor difficulties. He left for Angola in August 1966, to work for the Agrupamento de Engenharia de Angola (A.E.A) (Angola Engineering Group). He was responsible for the supply of water to the various detachments in the bush. Two years later, on completion of his Service Commission, he received extensive and rewarding praise from the Commander A.E.A., which compensated, to a degree, for the effort and the numerous dangers he had experienced.

In October 1968 he started his academic career in the FEUP as an Assistant, with responsibility for practical classes in the areas of Structural Theory, Soil Mechanics, Resistance of Materials and Civil Construction. He then followed all the remaining Civil Engineering disciplines in the structures branch. He left in 1972 and returned in 1974, after 25 April, at the request of the students and another lecturer. He worked for free for a year, after which he once again joined FEUP officially; he left in 1982 and returned again in 1985 and has remained at FEUP to the present, teaching in subjects related to Composite and Mixed Construction.

In October 1968, together with his work at FEUP, he began his work at the ETEC Studies Firm at the invitation of the Lecturers Aristides Guedes Coelho and Armando Campos e Matos. Today he is a managing partner in the same firm, whose name has since changed to ETECLDA.

He has carried out a large volume of work as a designer, consultant and coordinator of projects.

The following works are of note:

  • FERRADOSA railway bridge over the DOURO, with two access viaducts on the banks, in pre-stressed reinforced concrete and three symmetrical metal sections of 72-112 and 72 m
  • MOCATE, railway bridge on the North Line.
  • Complete reinforcement of the COURA BRIDGE at km 100.941 on the North Line, Caminha.
  • NINE METAL RAILWAY BRIDGES during the renewal of the Vendas Novas line (Vala Boi, Lavre, Ribeira de Coruche, Vala de Muge, Azambuja and Alvercões 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th)
  • BELEM VIADUCTS over the Avenida das Índias and the Estoril railway, in Lisbon
  • TRINDADE CYLINDRICAL CAR PARK (capacity 600 cars), Porto.
  • Structural Design for the PAVILION OF THE FUTURE, for the EXPO 98 PARK.
  • EXPONOR facilities in Matosinhos (Phase 1)
  • SKYLIGHTS for the GAIASHOPING SHOPPING CENTRE and the PARQUE NASCENTE, in Gaia and Gondomar, respectively.
  • Structures of the SOPORCEL PM1 and PM2 PAPER FACTORIES in Figueira da Foz (as part of a consortium)
  • Structural design of the Consolidation and Adaptation of the S. BENTO da VITORIA convent, Porto
  • LIGHTING POLES for stadiums (Maia, Boavista, etc.)
  • VIII AVENIDA SHOPPING CENTRE in São João, Madeira for Sonae Sierra
  • Imoretalho – Amoreiras Center – ODIVELAS PARQUE SHOPPING CENTRE
  • PAULO VI PASTORAL CENTRE – SANTUÁRIO DE FÁTIMA – Roof of the Auditorium (capacity 2500 people


Fátima Sanctuary

Monsenhor Luciano Guerra


Arq. Erich Corsépius; António Sousa; Virgílio Antunes; Luciano Cristino, Vieira Pereira

External consultants:

Teixeira Trigo / Gapres-Artur Ravara; Cansado Carvalho (Structures)

Luís Malheiro da Silva (Mechanical Installations)

Carlos Barradas † (Electricity):

José Manuel Colarejo (Lighting)

Victor Pimentel (Geotechnics)

Ludwig Reiche (Safety)

Francisco Alvim (Water and Sewerage)

Miguel Velho da Palma (Landscaping)

Oliveira Carvalho (Acoustics)

Diamantino Freitas (Electroacoustics)

António Gomes Henriques / Franco Dias (Media)


– Meletitiki – Alexandros N. Tombazis and Associates Architects, Ltd – Alexandros Tombazis Stavros Gyftopoulos, Sofia Paraskevapoulos

– paula santos – arquitectura, sociedade unipessoal, Lda. – Paula Santos; Joana Delgado Cristina Canotilho; Bárbara Sandri; António Feio; Nuno Silva; Ricardo Granja; Joaquim Santana; Vasco Novais; Augusta Lopes

General Design Coordination:

ETECLDA – Manuel Baptista Barros

Gabinete Técnico Engenharia Civil, Lda. – Bruno Pereira; Armando Vale

Foundations and Structures:

ETECLDA – Gabinete Técnico Engenharia Civil, Lda.

– Coordination: José Mota Freitas; Eugénio Maia

– Earth Movements: Alberto Teixeira

– Foundations and Concrete Structures: Filipe Arteiro; Jorge Mariano Pires; Lívio Oliveira; Nuno Raposo; Catarina Tuna; Luís Moreira; Armando Vale

– Pre-stressed Concrete: Miguel Guimarães; Filipe Arteiro

– Metallic Structures: Miguel Guimarães; Ricardo Poças

– Containment: Alberto Teixeira; Catarina Tuna

– Mobile Walls: João Enes

– Health and Safety Plan: Manuel Baptista Barros

– Consultants: Ana Maria Proença (concrete) Cêgê – A. Costa Pereira (geotechnics) Braga Barbosa (Health and Safety)

Mechanical Inst., Gas and Energy Classification (RCCTE):

Edifícios Saudáveis – Consultores, Lda. – Jorge Neves; Ricardo Araújo Sá

Water and sewerage:

Vitor Abrantes – Cons. Projectos Engenharia, Lda. – Vitor Abrantes; António Curado; Pedro Pinho


OHM-E – Gab. de Engenharia Electrotécnica, Lda.

Fernando Silva Gusmão; José Carlos Gonçalves


Proap – Projectos Arquitectura Paisagista, Lda.

João Ferreira Nunes; Nuno Jacinto; Carlos Ribas / Laura Costa


Vitor Abrantes – Cons. Projectos Engenharia, Lda. Sopsec, Lda. – Vítor Abrantes; António da Silva Ferreira Rui Calejo


Vitor Abrantes – Cons. Projectos Engenharia, Lda. Sopsec, Lda. – Vítor Abrantes; António da Silva Ferreira Rui Calejo

– Energia e Ambiente: Matt Santamouris

– Iluminação Natural e Artificial: Bartenbach Lichtlabor, Ltd – Robert Muller

– Paisagismo: Paul Friedberg and Partners, Ltd – Paul Friedberg


FASE – Estudos e Projectos, S.A. – Paulo Bravo; Diogo Portocarrero; Alexandre Pedroso; Luis Marques da Silva; Jorge Palmares; Armando Camelo

LNEC – Teixeira Trigo; Vale e Azevedo; Felicita Pires; Arlindo Gonçalves; Bettencourt Ribeiro


Somague, Engenharia S.A. – António Carvalho; António Simões; Matos Fernandes; André Monteiro; Dora Fernandes

SECIL – Ângela Nunes; Ângelo Oliveira

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