The first phase of the Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (MAAT), designed by AL_A, the UK firm formerly known as Future Systems, opened yesterday in Lisbon.
The museum was commissioned by the EDP Foundation, an art sponsorship body founded by the Energias de Portugal energy utility. Its brief is to "explore contemporary culture through visual arts, new media, architecture, technology and science".
MAAT will be the focal point of the EDP Foundation Campus on the River Tagus in the district of Belém, an urban regeneration scheme along Lisbon’s waterfront.
Housed within two buildings on a 3.8ha site, MAAT’s low-slung structure is designed to blend into the landscape, with visitors able to walk over, underneath and through the building.
The building’s textured faÃ§ade is composed of 15,000 three-dimensional crackle-glazed tiles, representing Lisbon’s "tradition of craft".
Image via AL_A
Amanda Levete, principal of AL_A, said: "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.Â Â Â Â
"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."
Levete is best known for her design of the Selfridges department store in Birmingham’s Bullring shopping centre.
Top image via Image via Hufton + Crow