Trienal de Arquitectura de Lisboa

The Tagus river as the centre of Open House 2021

25 SEP 2021 - 26 SEP 2021
Free Admission
EGEAC, Lisbon City Council, Almada City Council. 
Additional info
Curated by the landscape architecture studio Baldios
For the first time, the experience of architecture is lived together in the cities of Lisbon and Almada.

Open House Lisboa is known for opening doors to private houses and flats, reserved or technical areas in museums and theatres, among other contemporary buildings with different uses, and in 2021 the doors are opened to a whole new territory: Almada. With an area of 71 km², Almada comes out on the itinerary for this unique weekend to celebrate architecture, through a protocol signed between the Lisbon Triennale and the City Council of Almada.

Open House Lisboa celebrates its 10th edition by uniting the two cities over the Tagus river, and invests in a territorial expansion to join the two river banks in an accessible event that reaches the general public. Scheduled for the weekend of 25-26 September 2021, the motivation for this extension is based on the interest in diversifying and expanding the spatial itinerary, to reveal the peculiarities of the architectural works in this municipality together with those in the city of Lisbon.

Baldios is the landscape architecture collective selected to curate the 2021 edition, which is guided by the water lines in both urban areas. This proposal highlights the role of the Tagus river and its underlying potential to extend the city.

The Ways of Water

Open House Lisboa 2021 crosses the river to the other bank and expands to Almada. The guiding line of this edition's itinerary emerges from the Tagus and the water lines that flow into it, focused on the understanding of cities as landscapes shaped after a natural element.

Get inspired and embark on an expedition to urban architecture along The Ways of Water, exploring the ancestral paths that connect the cities to the river, settled along the slopes and valleys. In Lisbon, these paths reveal a deeply humanised topography that has given rise to terraces, walls, buildings, gardens, embankments, and channelisation. In Almada there are beaches, coves, piers, and industrial infrastructures that finish off the short, embedded valleys, contemplating Lisbon and the river as elements of a Common Landscape. Let us follow the water!

 aerial view of the city of Almada with its colourful houses and the large Tagus river behind.

Aerial view of Almada ©CM Almada

In the words of Inês de Medeiros, Mayor of Almada, “it is with great enthusiasm that we welcome, in Almada, the 10th Edition of Open House, which will reveal the extensive architectural heritage and the beauty of this territory whose landscape is marked by the presence of the Sea, the Tagus and the relationship with Lisbon. We embrace this partnership with the Lisbon Architecture Triennale certain that Open House 2021 will be a challenge and an opportunity to understand and project the south bank of the Tagus river, which unites three large municipalities and is essential to the development of the Lisbon Metropolitan Area.”

“This year marks Open House’s 10th anniversary. These 10 years have valued architecture and architects, heritage, and the renovation of public space. In these times, when the city’s public space and common space assume a unique role, it is necessary to keep bringing citizens closer to architecture and heritage. A city cannot do without this glance, which is a representation of how we see ourselves as a community and how we see the world. I believe the Triennale will continue, as always, to show us the best of this artistic expression, so cosmopolitan, universal and creative.” Fernando Medina, Mayor of Lisbon

“Living in Lisbon means a permanent view of the Tagus and Almada, which are therefore part of the city. The arrival in Lisbon from Almada, whether by boat, car, or plane, is undeniably one of the most beautiful in the world. Lisbon and Almada, with the Tagus in the centre, complete each other, they are like the limbs of the same body”, says José Mateus, chairman of the Lisbon Architecture Triennale.

View of the Tagus river from the MAAT with the red metal bridge in the back ground. Evening light.

MAAT view on the Tagus river ©Renata Macedo de Sousa

Lisbon was the 13th city to register on the Open House Worldwide map in 2012. Today this network gathers almost 50 cities spread across different continents, from America (North and South) to Africa, Europe, Asia and Oceania.

About Almada

Almada belongs to the Lisbon Metropolitan Area and is part of the Setúbal region. The last 2011 Census stated that Almada has a population of 174,030 inhabitants and a built area comprising 101,619 homes and 34,750 buildings. The proximity to the river has always been a determining factor for settling people. It is a 71km² territory that concentrates a vast industrial heritage on its coastline, resulting from the intense industrialisation of the late 19th century, together with a strong industrial structure. The 1960s were marked by the creation of the bridge over the Tagus river and the expansion of the Lisnave shipyards.

Baldios - Biography

Baldios Arquitectos Paisagistas emerged in 2012 as a collective, following the merger of the work developed by five landscape architects in collaboration or co-authorship with several interdisciplinary teams. They are dedicated to landscape production, either in the form of landscaping studies and projects, or through their research.

Covering several influences and discussions, landscape research and practice are assumed as a joint effort of professional disciplines involving researchers who address contemporary territory and culture. In this sense, landscape production should be an anonymous or collective act, in which the result of Baldios' work is the main identity reference.