Lonely Planet Writer

Lisbon’s Museum of Art, Architecture & Technology (MAAT) set to open in weeks

As cultural events go, this one is set to top the bill in Portugal this year. The grand opening in Lisbon of MAAT – the museum for Art, Architecture and Technology, has now been earmarked for a spectacular launch early next month.

The future MAAT seen from the river.
The future MAAT seen from the river.  Image by:  Amanda Levete Architects.

The gala day on 5 October will include a 12-hour programme of events, including concerts and performances as well as educational activities. And the public is also being asked to partake during the 12 midday to midnight run of events. MAAT will be an imposing presence in the capital city with 7000 square metres of public space. It will also host the art collection of the Fundação EDP. Portugalconfidential.com reports that Amanda Levante is the British architect responsible for the contemporary design. She says on her AL_A website that her aim was to get the topographic form to blend structures into landscape. That would help create visual and physical permeability “between inside and outside,” she claimed.

The museum has been earmarked for a spectacular launch early next month.
The museum has been earmarked for a spectacular launch early next month. Image by Amanda Levete Architects

The space allows the general public to walk both under, over and through the Centre. It will also open access to the city via a new footbridge over the railways tracks.  She explained that the roof too would become part of an outdoor room, making it a conceptual and physical attachment with Lisbon’s heart. This allows people the option of turning away from the river to look at the cityscape, or at night, to view a movie with the city acting as a backdrop.

The organisers have already planned their first three shows at MAAT. The first display will be Pynchon Park, specifically created for the main room of the new building by French artist, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster.  Then there will be ‘The World of Charles and Ray Eames,’ focusing on the lives and work of two of the greatest architects of the twentieth century. The third display will be ‘Form and Shape,’ a major exhibition of the fourth Triennial of Lisbon Architecture.