Despite its architectonic, historic value and its central location in the city of Lisbon, the square of São Paulo had become a forgotten space, serving only as a passageway to the underground clubs and bars – paradoxically marginalised in the center of the city. During the month-long celebrations of the city’s patron saint, Santo António, the cultural association Parafernália joined forces with Ordem dos Arquitectos in order to revitalize this site, activating it not only as a passage, but also as a destination.
The idea was that the intervention would focus mainly on an attractive stage. Despite the scarce resources and the huge volumetric scale desired for the stage, this lightweight structure (made out of prefabricated modular parts) was designed to be an iconic urban catalyst. While the proportions and scale of the project respected the spatial hierarchy of the square, the use of color served as an urban activator, contrasted against the subdued colours of the old town.
Design team: Diogo Aguiar, Teresa Otto
Location: Praça de São Paulo, Lisbon, Portugal
Date: May 2011
Client: Portuguese Architects Association, Parafernália Association
Materials: Red textile, transparent plastic, metal building systems
Photography: Francisco Nogueira ©