Trienal de Arquitectura de Lisboa


We are a non-profit association whose mission is to research, foster and promote architectural thinking and practice. We hold a major forum every three years for the debate, discussion and dissemination of architecture that crosses geographic and disciplinary boundaries. 

Every edition of the Lisbon Architecture Triennale has been distinguished with the High Patronage of His Excellency the President of the Portuguese Republic. Since 2013, we benefit from Public Utility Status, and in 2010, we were awarded the status of Cultural Interest given by the Ministry of Culture.



  • To establish itself as an open platform for thought and the promotion of national and international architecture 
  • To produce content of excellence aim at architects and beyond them, in a broad sense focused also on the creative community and the general public in order to make them more sensitive to architectural practice

  • To position Portuguese architecture and the Lisbon and Portugal brands on the international cultural circuit
  • To take on a plural curatorship that proposes in each edition an approach that is current and complementary 
  • To stimulate local and national economy, by widening a network of contacts and capturing media attention to the development and reach of the subject of architecture    
  • To leave a legacy to the city, with the rehabilitation of a building as a new centre for architecture, and at the same time the publishing of important thematic reference books 


The Triennale

The first Triennale took place in 2007, under the theme Urban Voids. The chief curator, José Mateus, worked with a team of 23 national and international curators, that presented four exhibitions, an international conference, a lounge and five competitions. 

In 2010, Let’s Talk About Houses, the second edition, consolidated the presence of the Triennale in culture events dedicated to architecture. Curated by Delfim Sardo, the program included four exhibitions, an international conference and four competitions. 

With its third edition, Close, Closer, in 2013, the Triennale achieved solid international reach and recognition. The chief curator Beatrice Galilee and the curators José Esparza, Mariana Pestana and Liam Young programed exhibitions, conferences, talks and associated projects.  

Envisioned by curators Andr Tavares and Diogo Seixas Lopes, the fourth edition of the Triennale, The Form of Form, in 2016, included four exhibitions, a series of talks, seven Satellites, three awards, two conferences, 12 associated projects, four publications and a group of Sidekicks. 

We are at this moment preparing the Triennale’s 5th edition, which will take place in 2019. An open call was made by the Triennale in 2016, determined that the team of curators of this edition will be led by Éric Lapierre, architect and theoretician of architecture based in Paris. The curatorial team, which runs the master Architecture & Experience in the school of architecture of Marne-la-Vallée (Paris), and will co-operate with philosopher Sébastien Marot, is composed of a highly qualified group of practitioners and theoreticians: Ambra Fabi, Giovanni Piovene, Mariabruna Fabrizi, Fosco Lucarelli, Laurent Esmilaire, Tristan Chadney and Vasco Pinelo de Melo.


Critical Distance

Apart from organising its main event, the Triennale produces much more, for instance, the Critical Distance conferences, which bring to Lisbon architecture world renowned names. Between 2011 and 2013, the first cycle brought names like Kazuyo Sejima, Alberto Campo Baeza or Pezo Von Ellrichshausen, and the second cycle between 2014 and 2016, invited Smiljan Radić, Bijoy Jain from Studio Mumbai, or Ellen van Loon from OMA. A third cycle started in 2017, with a conference by Paul Ghirardani, art director of the HBO TV series, “Game of Thrones”. These conferences are made in partnership with the Centro Cultural de Belém, in Lisbon. 

conference room

© Fábio Cunha


Open House

Annually, we organise Open House Lisboa. Since 2012, the Triennale opens to the general public, during one weekend, different types of spaces: palaces, private houses, schools or churches. It’s a great opportunity to visit and discover spaces that really show that architecture has a decisive role in the life of citizens, and that are examples of the value of built heritage. Created in 1992 by Victoria Thornton, Open House happens in more than 30 cities all over the world (like London, New York or Buenos Aires). In 2015 and 2016, the Triennale also organised, with Casa da Arquitectura, the Open House Porto. 

Nova sede da EDP

Open House Lisboa 2017, Nova sede da EDP © Rodrigo Gatinho

The Palace

With its headquarters at Palácio Sinel de Cordes, in Campo de Santa Clara, the Lisbon Triennale organises and welcomes events in multiple formats, that form the cultural program of the palace, open to the general public. A permanent Creative Cluster also functions at the palace, housing innovative and multidisciplinary projects that foster the connection of architecture with other sectors of society, promoting the cultural and economical development of the city. The residents are Angular, WareHouse Project, Fruta Feia and KWY. In this unique building, which had been abandoned till the arrival of the Triennale, a progressive strategy of rehabilitation, conservation and restoration has been developed since 2012. 

Palace Facade

Palace Facade © FG+SG, Fotografia de Arquitectura


Special Projects

The Triennale was invited, three times, by the Direcção-Geral das Artes to collaborate in the official representations of Architecture Biennials. And so, we have collaborated in the making of the Portuguese representation at the 7th International Biennial of Architecture of São Paulo, with the adaptation of the exhibition “Europa, Arquitectura Portuguesa em Emissão”, curated by Jorge Figueira and Nuno Grande (that had been presented in the first edition of the Triennale, in 2007); in the 12th Venice Architecture Biennale, curated by the Triennale, in which we presented “4 houses, 4 films”; and at the 14th Venice Architecture Biennale, in 2014, curated by Rem Koolhaas, in which the Portuguese Pavilion materialised itself in a newspaper, Homeland | News from Portugal, with three editions designed by Silva Designers distributed during the six months.