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The Estufa Fria, Lisbon's greenhouse

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The Estufa Fria is Lisbon’s most exceptional greenhouse. It was built on the top of a deactivated basalt quarry, used for decades as a deposit for plants brought in from other parts of the world. As the years went by, the plants began to "cling to the place" and the idea of transforming it into a greenhouse took shape.
It opened to the public in 1933, with a project by the artist / architect Raul Carapinha (1876-1957), and it was expanded in 1975, with the construction of the Hot Greenhouse and the Sweet Greenhouse, for tropical and equatorial plants.
Several circumstances led to successive interventions of great quality but of narrow scope – the exterior arrangements and the main façade (Keil do Amaral, 1949), the “nave” (Edgar Cardoso 1950’s), the recent restoration of the shading structure which was in risk of collapsing (J. P. Falcão de Campos + Appleton & Domingos, 2013). Now that Lisbon has kicked off the year as European Green Capital 2020, the Estufa Fria deserves…

Lisbon riverfront regeneration, what kind of city is this development model actually serving?

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“(...) cities are collective territories, shaped for the possibility of a life in common. Of many different people, sharing, dividing, using an enormous structure, built together (...) mechanisms generating exclusion, making a few citizens “more citizen” than others, do not fit into this project (...)” (1) The “city” which corroborates the “right to the city” as a co-created space for urban life, where citizens are the main protagonists (2), is losing territory in port cities, such as Lisbon, where local government is using the city’s riverfront as a catalyst for short-term profit. A sustainable approach towards the redevelopment of Lisbon’s disabled industrial-port areas (which passed to the “public domain”) would ensure that the process would be implemented step-by- step, independently of economic cycles and short-term interests, in a way that present and future generations of citizens could benefit from it (3). It would equally involve the local communities in the planning and the…

Modernist architecture, Lisbon’s landmarks

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In the late 1920s, a new generation of architects was fully engaged in breaking with revivalist models, and exploring innovative architectural solutions which are still today some of Lisbon’s major landmarks. Their practice continued during the following decade, until it suffered a setback with the neo-traditionalist taste imposed by Salazar’s dictatorial regime. Walking along Lisbon’s enchanting avenues, we visit some remarkable modernist buildings by these architects, showing the transition from a decorative style / Art Deco to the aesthetics of functionalism. Get to know more about these modernist architects and their buildings. Join us in Lisbon for this walk or any other of our architecture walks of your choice.Photo and post credits: Lisboa Architecture Walks & Trips

What’s happening in Lisbon’s historic Baixa?

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Physics of The Portuguese Heritage, an exhibition that can be visited until September 2019, at the Museum of Popular Art in Belem (Lisbon). It proposes a critical look into contemporary interventions in the Portuguese built heritage, showcasing it in 3 states: "solid", "liquid" and "gaseous", referring the latter state to the abrupt, abusive, and destructive transformations happening in the historic Baixa (s) of Lisbon and Porto. Not to be missed!


Cities are like archives, and the history of the present is - it seems – contemporary globalisation. The Portuguese capital city, Lisboa, is not really a power player within the present world system; it is nonetheless being challenged by the impact of a growing worldwide process of interconnectedness (1), including mass tourism, considerable real-estate investment and speculation.
In the 21st century, only the unwise city would surrender to financial interest, sacrificing its historic built heritage. The wise cit…

Lisbon – European Green Capital 2020

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Lisbon Architecture Walks & Trips welcomed in Lisbon a team from the Planning and Construction Services Agency at the Oslo City Council. We have explored together the achievements, challenges and ambitions of being the European Green Capital.
After Oslo, Lisbon will follow in 2020.

The EGCA was conceived by the European Commission (in 2010) to prize local efforts and commitment to improve the environment, economy and quality of life in urban areas with more than 10.000 inhabitants.

Lisbon has applied in 2018, together with Ghent (Belgium) and Lahti (Finland) and it was the first southern European city being awarded the prize.  It receives €350.000 as a financial incentive from the European Commission to initiate its green capital year.

Major investments promoted as green within the municipal sustainability agenda focus on the city’s riverfront redevelopment, the green urban structure and urban mobility. A General Plan for Drainage will be implemented by the end of 2030, some proje…

Touring Brussels Architecture

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Lisboa Architecture Walks & Trips was touring in Brussels (Bruxelles). In the Belgian capital the spoken language is French but when you cross the borders of the city people speak Dutch, Brussels is surrounded by Flanders. Belgium is a multicultural country full of contrasts, and so is Brussels – a very bustling city, driven by flows of people of around 170 nationalities, thriving businesses, powerful institutions and ongoing construction.
The architecture is as rich as varied. The many architectural styles coexist, side by side, in permanent negotiation.  Compared to Lisbon (city), Brussels (capital region) is not much bigger in size (100 km2 to 161 km2). Brussels is nonetheless more densely populated, richer, and engaged in continuous activity and development.

Brussels capital region comprises of 19 semi-autonomous municipalities, linked together by a complex public transportation network (which is constantly being improved). The EU quarters are located in the centre, occupying a…

45 years after SAAL

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This 25th April (2019) Portugal celebrates 45 years after the revolution put an end to Salazar’s dictatorship, opening the way to democracy, and the right to housing, formally recognized by the present Constitution of Portugal which was adopted in 1976. Portuguese public housing history (and architecture) is definitely marked by the revolutionary SAAL process, which was in force during the transition period between the dictatorship and the democracy. The SAAL – Serviço de Apoio Ambulatório Local (August 1974 – October 1976), was established (by decree) by the initiative of the architect Nuno Portas, the State Secretary for Housing and Urban Planning during the transitory governments.
It was lead by architects, and it was the apogee of a process of decentralization of competences, running alongside a growing involvement of these professionals on public housing issues during the 1960’s and the early 1970’s. Architects such as Nuno Portas and Nuno Teotónio Pereira (among others) played …