Lonely Planet Writer

Step inside a magical mirrored pavilion as part of an art exhibition in Porto

A unique art installation has gone on display at the Serralves Museum in Porto, Portugal for a limited time only, that allows guests to enter a camouflaged pavilion that is covered in mirrors, creating the illusion that it disappears into its own picturesque surroundings.

The Liquid Pavilion at the Serralves Museum.
The Liquid Pavilion at the Serralves Museum. Image by Jose Campos

Commissioned by the Serralves Foundation and designed by Porto-based architect firm depA, the aim of the Liquid Pavilion project was to use both the museum building and the Serralves Park as raw materials to create a unique structure that could host a film called O peixe by Brazilian artist Jonathas de Andrade. Open until February, visitors are free to explore and enter the installation as part of the experience.

The pavilion's design was based on structural elements from the Museum.
The pavilion’s design was based on structural elements from the Museum. Image by Jose Campos

Corresponding to one of the characteristic design features of the museum, a bow window with hexagonal shapes, the Liquid Pavilion acts as a suitable space and shape for the projection of the film. Sitting on the edge of a lake, the dark glass mirrors the reflection of the water, as well as the dense green foliage all around it. “The project creates a very interesting, mysterious experience for visitors as they walk around it, and a very strong connection with the video projection inside. The aim was to blur the museum’s borders, and we decided to create an indirect relationship with it by extracting the pavilion’s plan from the Museum layout,” Carlos Azevedo of depA told Lonely Planet Travel News.

The pavilion was created to host the film O peixe by Brazilian artist Jonathas de Andrade.
The pavilion was created to host the film O peixe by Brazilian artist Jonathas de Andrade. Image by Jose Campos

Opened in 1999, the Serralves Museum includes a number of diverse, dynamic spaces designed to offer flexibility for exhibitions and events. One of the foremost museums for contemporary art in Portugal, it is situated in the grounds of the Serralves Estate, which comprises of a large, 18-hectare park and woodland that the home to approximately 200 species of plants.

More information on visiting is available at the official website.