Lisboa Open House, organized by the Lisbon Architecture Triennale, will unlock the architecture of Lisbon and inspire and inform the public about one of Europe’s greatest built urban environments.
Lisbon, capital of Portugal and heart of a metropolitan region of almost three million, presents a unique and rich architectural tapestry. Portugal’s contribution to world architecture is far greater than the small size of the country, and is reflected in several UNESCO World Heritage Sites as for example at Belém in Lisbon, from where the great explorers such as Vasco da Gama set out to shape the world’s first global empire, and Sintra, a historic satellite town of palaces. This contribution continues in the work of contemporary Portuguese architects, including two Pritzker Architecture Prize winners, Álvaro Siza Vieira and Eduardo Souto de Moura. Contemporary overseas architects of world stature from India to the US have also left their iconic mark on the capital Click Here!.
The architectural heritage of the Lisbon region dates back to first-millennium castles with Moorish origins in Lisbon and Sintra, and includes the uniquely Portuguese Manueline baroque style from the seventeenth century. But the character of central Lisbon itself effectively was defined after the earthquake of 1755, which devastated the town. The Marquis of Pombal, one of Europe’s greatest urban planners, oversaw rebuilding and a new grid-based plan for the city. The resulting world-famous downtown Baixa at the heart of Lisbon, as well as great squares, handsome civic buildings and grand avenues - they all define the magnificent baroque capital visible today.
Lisbon continued to evolve and expand, and in the twentieth century has seen waves of architectural styles, including Art Deco; Modernism and Brutalism; the uniquely Portuguese constructivist-monumentalism of the Estado Novo dictatorship; Postmodernism; and the iconic structures of the Parque de Nações which hosted the World Expo ’98. Everywhere, vernacular architecture is an important element, from the traditional characteristic tiling of Portuguese facades to the unique style of contemporary houses by Portuguese masters.
Photo © Nuno Cera
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