The MAAT is a new museum located on the Belém waterfront in Lisbon, renewing access to the Tagus River from the city and consolidating the wider publicly-funded urban regeneration of the quarter.
Incorporating over 7,000 m2 of new public space, the Museum will explore the convergence of architecture, technology and contemporary art as a field of cultural practice. It will accommodate a trans-disciplinary programme of exhibitions, public events and community engagement.
A new discursive space for the city, it will lead the conversation about the evolution of Lisbon and Portugal. The topographic form blends structure into landscape in a move that creates visual and physical permeability between inside and outside.
A space to be appropriated by the public, it allows people to walk over and under as well as through the building and access the city via a new footbridge over the railway tracks.
The roof becomes an outdoor room, a physical and conceptual connection to the city’s heart, where you can turn away from the river and enjoy the vista of the cityscape, and at night, watch a film with Lisbon as your backdrop.
Restoring the historic connection between the city and the water, the building creates a destination for the people of Lisbon, as well as for cultural visitors and tourists, and reactivating the neglected riverfront area for all. AL_A’s response exploits the natural assets of the site, framing an architectural narrative that is sensitive to both its cultural heritage and the future of the city.
At high tide, a series of steps leading down to the water’s edge are submerged, creating a permeable threshold that changes with the tide. The waterfront context is so essential to the project that we have found a way to reflect this – literally – onto the floor of the gallery. An overhanging roof that creates welcome shade is used to bounce sunlight off the water and into the building, tracing the shifting patterns.
Inspired by Lisbon’s rich material heritage, calçada-tile pavements are subtly reinterpreted under foot and used to merge the new public spaces with the existing texture of the city street.
Building on Portugal’s rich tradition of ceramics, 3D tiles articulate the façade and produce a complex surface that gives readings of water, light and shadow, capturing and magnifying the tonal light qualities of this site. Source and Images Courtesy of AL_A.