Built for the 1998 Lisbon World Exposition, the building was designed to be the thematic centerpiece of the festival and the host country’s national pavilion. The theme of the Expo, “The Oceans: A Heritage for the Future,” commemorated the heritage of Portuguese discovery and demanded from the architect a sensitive interplay between the pavilion and the harbor. Siza, who at the time was Portugal’s most renowned modern architect, was selected to design the building as the grand entrance to the fairgrounds.
With the help of fellow countryman Eduardo Souto de Moura and the engineering expertise of Cecil Balmond, Siza created a space that was visually striking and highly effective at meeting the festival’s programmatic needs and site-specific requirements.
Photographies by Giovanni Nardi