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EMILIO AMBASZ & Associates Inc.

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LISBON (PORTUGAL)

1995

LISBON EXPO '98 

COMMERCIAL DEVELOPMENT

In preparation for Expo '98, the city of Lisbon selected a site between the marina and the Calatrava train station for the development of 300,000 sq.ft. of new commercial office space. The new site slopes downward toward the marina from the main commercial street 
above and Emilio Ambasz took advantage of the sloping site to suggest a highly unique solution. He proposed that a 'garden platform' be extended outward from the upper edge of the site, completely covering the sloping area below. This 'garden platform' becomes both the roof of the new building and a new garden park for the surrounding community. The resulting enclosed volume is more than adequate for the commercial needs of the development. Each of the three main commercial tenants desired a unique corporate identity, recognizable even from a distance within the city, and Ambasz designed three distinctive glass structures inhabiting three open courtyards. With 'walls' of clear glass 
punctuated by a grid of 'windows' com- posed of open voids, the three structures appear transparent: recognizable urban structures, yet completely ethereal in nature. The city is given a gift of a new community garden park, accented by flowering plants and trees, pools of cascading water and uninterrupted views to the sea beyond.