- Author : João Luís Carrilho da Graça
- Coordinator : Francisco Freire
- Competition Team : Paulo Costa, Yutaka Shiki, Gonçalo Baptista, João Jesus, Mariana Sanchez Salvador, Nuno Castro Caldas, architects; Nuno Pinto, designer; Paulo Barreto, Vanda Neto, models
- Project Team : Luis Cordeiro, Nuno Pinho, Pedro Ricciardi, Paulo Costa, Yutaka Shiki, Filipe Homem, Charbel Saad, Nuno Castro Caldas, Ana Teresa Hagatong, Ana Bruto da Costa, arquitectos; Carlo Vincelli, modelação 3D; Nuno Pinto, desenhador; Paulo Barreto, maquetes
- Landscape Architecture : Global Arquitectura Paisagista Lda
- Communication Design : P-06 atelier
- Structural Engineering, Hydraulic And Gas Engineering, People And Cargo Transports, Electrical, Telecommunications, Security Systems And Lighting Planning : Fase - Estudos e Projectos SA
- Mechanical, Thermal And Acoustic Engineering : NaturalWorks - Projectos de Engenharia Lda
- Maritime Hydraulics : Consulmar - Projectistas e Consultores Lda
- Environment And Sustainability : Nemus - Gestão e Requalificação Ambiental Lda
- Client : APL - Administração do Porto de Lisboa / LCT - Lisbon Cruise Terminals (concessionário)
- City : Lisbon
- Country : Portugal
On the Alfama slope, Lisbon is an amphitheater looking out into the Tagus estuary. At the foot of the hill, on the flats of the early 20th-century landfill of the port, the building of the new Cruise Terminal echoes, and returns, the gaze: a small amphitheater, apparently with its back to the river, look back at the city.
Compact (the smallest of the buildings presented to the 2010 international competition), it is inserted — with the open-air car park and the tidal tank — between the walls of the landfilled former Jardim do Tabaco dock, seeming not to touch the ground, between the trees of the Park/Boulevard that, along with the building, now inhabit this stretch of the riverfront. Raised from the ground, it lifts the public space along with itself, transformed into a terrace/viewpoint — abstract topography — between river and city, like a transshipment raft that connects and reveals both.
The programme of the terminal is housed under this shell, raised ground: car park underground (connected to de open-air car park); luggage delivery, processing and claim, at ground level; passengers (check-in, waiting lounge, VIP lounge, duty-free shopping, public access coffee shop) in the upper level; all flexible spaces, as are those of the Park/Boulevard, that allow for the future evolution of the terminal, as for events of other nature to take place outside the hours, and seasons, of its use as a maritime station.
This sort of exoskeleton, that encircles the areas assigned to the terminal’s programme, is built of structural white concrete with cork — a solution specifically developed to lighten the building’s weight, limited by the preexisting foundations, stemming from a concept by Carrilho da Graça originally for experimental design, the Lisbon design biennale —, with a particular haptic quality, and that lightens up with the sunlight reflected on the estuary, the famous ‘ light of Lisbon’.
Virtually blind on the riverside — from where the building appears as a discreet stony socle of the city — and creasing, on the city side, just enough to reveal its access points, the building mediates the visual relations between its users and the river and city: in a building that is used almost always in motion — along the gangway, in the loggias that give access to the ships or from these to descend directly into the city, walking on the rooftop, on the tangential approaches to the main façade — the gaze wanders, cinematic.
E la nave rimane.