Behold an architectural masterpiece that cradles a remarkable trove of contemporary Portuguese art. Prepare for a virtual journey through the MAAT, where I’ll unveil the fascinating details of this extraordinary venue.
Crafted by the London-based architectural maestros, AL_A, under the visionary guidance of Amanda Levete, MAAT stands as a testament to design innovation. Nestled in Lisbon’s Belém district, this awe-inspiring structure graces the city’s riverfront, emerging as Lisbon’s epicenter of culture, the Museum of Art, Architecture, and Technology (MAAT). The building’s curvaceous form rises from the ground and gracefully descends, embracing flexible exhibition spaces that seamlessly meld with 7,000 square meters of newly minted public waterfront.
The EDP Foundation champions this museum, with aspirations that resonate across Lisbon. Amanda Levete, the visionary behind ‘TO THE,’ explains the design’s inspirations, uniting physical and conceptual elements with the waterfront and the city’s heart.
A harmonious blend of form and function, this avant-garde edifice playfully reflects the shades and rhythms of the adjacent sea. Its façade, adorned with luminous glazed tiles, pays homage to Portugal’s rich heritage and its vibrant ceramic tradition.
Stepping into the museum reveals a landscape thoughtfully designed to connect with the waterside, establishing harmony while catalyzing the ongoing rejuvenation of Lisbon’s district.
Now, let’s step back and explore the bigger picture. MAAT made its grand entrance in 2016, igniting a cultural renaissance not just for Lisbon but for all of Portugal. It stands as a majestic contemporary art haven by the riverside. Designed by British architect Amanda Levete, this futuristic structure stands as a unique artistic oasis within Portugal. It also encompasses exhibition spaces within the reborn power station.
At the core of any museum is its permanent collection. What can you expect from MAAT? This is a multi-disciplinary hub of art and culture. Its permanent collection and revolving exhibitions span an array of mediums, from pop art to ceramics, wooden sculptures, and a treasure trove of Portuguese electricity history. It proudly hosts the most outstanding assortment of contemporary Portuguese art.
What sets MAAT apart are its ever-evolving exhibitions. What can you anticipate during your visit? MAAT consistently curates rotating exhibitions to keep you coming back for more. Recent highlights include Carsten Höller’s luminescent exploration and a multi-artist, multidisciplinary spectacle on globalization organized by Aric Chen and Martina Muzi. The museum’s unique architectural footprint results in varied exhibition spaces, varying in size and lighting. Some are generously bathed in natural light through expansive windows, while others create a more intimate ambiance with subdued lighting.
The crowd at MAAT is as diverse as the exhibitions. Expect an array of art enthusiasts and those captivated by the museum’s breathtaking design. Families, including children, are common visitors, drawn to the multi-sensory experience MAAT provides.
Feeling peckish? MAAT boasts a casual café serving sandwiches, pastries, coffee, and beer. But for those seeking a more upscale dining experience, the fine-dining restaurant overlooks the river, offering complete meals and heartier dishes like oxtail stew and Algarve octopus.
Short on time or interest in art? You don’t need to explore every nook and cranny. Feel free to visit the museum (no ticket required) to admire the awe-inspiring architecture from the outside. Then, savor a cold beer by the riverside promenade—a fantastic spot for people-watching.
An architectural marvel that houses the most impressive collection of contemporary Portuguese art.