Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology

AL_A, Lisbon, 2017


Subscribe now to instantly view this image

Subscribe to the Architects’ Journal (AJ) for instant access to the AJ Buildings Library, an online database of nearly 2,000 exemplar buildings in photographs, plans, elevations and details.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

The curved facade 

Hufton + Crow     Download Original

  • The curved facade    
  • The building connects the historic riverfront back to to the city    
  • The building is elliptical in plan    
  • A curved ramp wraps around the building    
  • An outdoor public space has been created    
  • The building has an all-white, glossy interior    
  • The first installation was by French artist Dominique Gonzalez-Foester    
  • The ceiling is raw and industrial    
  • Tiling is prominent throughout    
  • Level 0 plan    
  • Level 1 plan    
  • Section AA    
  • South elevation    

Amanda Levete’s Kunsthalle at the MAAT provides four new galleries while attempting to stitch together a tricky site.

AL_A’s gallery sits at the edge of the River Tagus, its curvaceous tile-clad façade reflecting the water. The brief was for ‘a building that should not be boring’, says the client.

The 38,000m2 site is a tricky one. One of Lisbon’s main highways and a railway line run past it, dividing it from the historic city. The building doesn’t rely on height for impact – it is low-slung and, viewed from the river, similar in shape to an eyelid. Conceived as a piece of landscape and public realm as well as an art space, visitors are invited to walk over, under and through the building. 

A 1,200m2 main exhibition space can accommodate huge, immersive art pieces. It is elliptical in plan and a curved ramp wraps around it, conducting the visitor on a slow walk down from entrance lobby to lower level. 


  • Begun: Jun 2014
  • Completed: Mar 2017
  • Floor area: 7,400m2
  • Sector: Arts and culture
  • Total cost: £17.6M
  • Procurement: Traditional
  • CO2 Emissions: 10.3kg/m2/year
  • Address: Av. Brasília, Lisbon, 1300-598, Portugal

Professional Team