The CITY in crisis in times of pandemic

In 2006, the architect Manuel Graça Dias published a compilation of texts written over 2 years for the Portuguese weekly newspaper Expresso, which he entitled Manual das Cidades (1).
Like no other, he was a man of the CITY. With pride, joy and immense pleasure of living in The CITY. All his theoretical work and buildings are generous invitations for us to like cities, as much as he did.
About 16 years after the publication, within the crisis we are going through worldwide, the questions and reflections of Manuel Graça Dias are more than welcome and absolutely relevant.
It begins as follows: Why do we like cities? What do we like about cities? Why do cities attract us?
"First of all, it is clear that the CITY is a collective territory, conformed to allow life in common. Many different people sharing, dividing, using a huge structure, built together (...) a project of collective life".
It just so happens, that this kind of public, collective territory, full of unpredictabilit…

Aldo Van Eyck on Display in Lisboa

Unfortunately, some exhibits that we would like to stay permanently are only temporary. This is the case with Art on Display that could be visited until yesterday at the Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, in Lisbon. Among other installations, the work by Aldo Van Eyck stood out with reproductions of the Pavilion designed by the Dutch architect in 1965-1966, for the 5th International sculpture exhibition ’66 in Arnhem, The Netherlands.
F. C. Gulbenkian displayed the pavilion in two fragments: one inside the main gallery, and the other in the outside grounds of the museum complex.
The scenery proposed by Van Eyck works as an urban space where one walks with stops at contemplation spaces. The material is simple - prefabricated concrete blocks, the effect is of incredible beauty. The sculptures stand out in all their glamour in the brutalist materiality of concrete, and especially on the outdoor installation under the diffuse light, entering via the transparent roof.
Since 2005, a faithful re…

The Estufa Fria, Lisbon's greenhouse

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?

“(...) 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

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?

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

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…