MAAT – Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology
Designed by British architect, Amanda Levete of AL_A, On 5 October 2016, the EDP Foundation will officially open the Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (MAAT) on the Tagus River in Belém, Lisbon. The initiative is at the heart of an exciting urban revitalisation along one of Lisbon’s most historic waterfront neighbourhoods.
“In understanding EDP’s ambition for Lisbon, our design draws on the context of the site, creating both physical and conceptual connections to the waterfront and back to the heart of the city. The waterfront is so essential to the project that the design literally reflects it. The overhanging roof that creates welcome shade is used to bounce sunlight off the water and into the Main Gallery, one of the four interconnected exhibition spaces.” – Amanda Levete, Principal of AL_A
Led by Director Pedro Gadanho and commissioned by the EDP Foundation, the Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (MAAT) will explore contemporary culture through visual arts, new media, architecture, technology and science.
MAAT will be the focal point of the EDP Foundation Campus site on the River Tagus in the district of Belém, at the heart of an exciting urban revitalisation along one of Lisbon’s most historic waterfronts. Housed within two buildings on a 3.8 hectare site, MAAT comprises the elegant new kunsthalle structure and the recently renovated Central Tejo power station.
Blending structure into landscape, the kunsthalle is designed to allow visitors to walk over, under as well as through the building. The kunsthalle contains four distinct gallery spaces that sit beneath a gracefully undulating roof, which has been conceived to create significant new public spaces on the roof and along the waterfront.
The building’s textured façade is composed of 15,000 three-dimensional crackle-glazed tiles manufactured by Ceràmica Cumella. Building on Lisbon’s rich tradition of craft, the complex surface is a contemporary expression of this characteristic Portuguese building material and continues AL_A’s ongoing research into new uses and reinterpretations of ceramics. The tiles capture the changing light and give mutable readings of the exceptional southern light that vary with the time of day and the seasons.
“We explored innovative ways of achieving world class sustainability standards at MAAT without compromising the conceptual intent or the aesthetics of the building – indeed beautiful design arose from embracing sustainability. We designed a structure that is self-shading in its very form, with the cantilevered façade affording welcome shade and reducing solar gain from the south light that falls across the estuary and onto the building.” – Amanda Levete
AL_A – Amanda Levete Architects:
MAAT is an outward-looking museum located on the banks of the Tagus in Belém, the district from where the Portuguese great explorers set off. Proposing a new relationship with the river and the wider world, the kunsthalle is a powerful yet sensitive and low-slung building that explores the convergence of contemporary art, architecture and technology.
Incorporating over 7,000m² 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.
MAAT – Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology is the new cultural centre for Lisbon. It’s a museum where these three areas intertwine within a space of debate, discovery, critical thinking and international dialogue. It’s an innovative project which establishes a connection between the new building, designed by Amanda Levete Architects’ studio, and Tejo Power Station, one of Portugal’s most prominent examples of industrial architecture from the first half of the 20th century, and one of the most visited museums in the country.
MAAT’s ambition is to present national and international exhibitions by contemporary artists, architects and thinkers. The programme will also include various curatorial perspectives on EDP Foundation’s private Art Collection, reflecting current subject matters and trends.
MAAT offers an educational programme of interdisciplinary activities on art, architecture and technology. These initiatives seek to encourage creative thinking as well as new ways of acquiring and developing knowledge.
We enjoy meeting our visitors and offer a variety of programmes planned around our exhibitions which aim to meet their creative, educational and entertainment expectations.
Project name: MAAT – Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology
Location: Av. Brasília, 1300-598 Lisbon, Portugal
Coordinates: 38.696031, -9.193630
Type: Museum, Cultural Center
Site area: 3.8 Hectare
- Total area: 9,430 sqm
- Usable floor area: 7,400 sqm
Project Year/Period: 2014-2016
Completion Year: 2016
Opening Date: October 5, 2016
Visit MAAT’s Website: here
Client / Owner / Developer: EDP Foundation
- AL_A – Amanda Levete Architects – 14A Brewery Road, London N7 9NH, United Kingdom
Design Leader: Amanda Levete
- Maximiliano Arrocet, Fernando Ruiz Barberan, Mirta Bilos, Alex Bulygin, Grace Chan, Sara Ortiz Cortijo, Alice Dietsch, Ciriaco Castro Diez, Yoo Jin Kim, Ilina Kroushovski, Michael Levy, Cristina Revilla Madrigal, Stanislaw Mlynski, Ho-Yin Ng, Giulio Pellizzon, Raffael Petrovic, Chloe Piper, Filippo Previtali, Maria Alvarez-Santullano, Joe Shepherd, Paula Vega, Konstantinos Zaverdinos
General Contractor : Alves Ribeiro
- Structural Engineer: Afaconsult
- Mechanical: Afaconsult
- Electrical: Afaconsult
- Civil, soil and survey: Afaconsult
- Landscape Architect: Vladimir Djurovic Landscape Architecture
- Lighting Designer: SEAM Design
- Acoustical: Afaconsult
- Project management: Tecnoplano
- Environmental: Edifícios Saudáveis, e3e
- Graphic design: R2 Design
- Façades: Ceràmica Cumella , Disset
Text Description: © Courtesy of AL_A – Amanda Levete Architects, EDP Foundation, MAAT
Images: © AL_A – Amanda Levete Architects, Hufton + Crow, Paulo Coelho, Francisco Nogueira, Fernando Guerra FG+SG, flickr-jaime.silva