Trienal de Arquitectura de Lisboa
31 MAY 2007 - 31 JUL 2007
José Mateus, João Belo Rodeia, Jorge Figueira and Nuno Grande, Luís Tavares Pereira, Cláudia Taborda and Catarina Raposo, amongst others
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Locations: Pavilhão de Portugal, Cordoaria Nacional, Fundação EDP e Cascais (Praça 5 de Outubro)


Urban Voids

In the first Lisbon Architecture Triennale, which took place in 2007 (31 May-31 July), under the theme Urban Voids, the chief curator and architect José Mateus (also founder and president of the Lisbon Triennale) worked with a team of 23 Portuguese and international curators. The Triennale became the first major event focused on architecture in the Iberian Peninsula, and it was programmed to take place at regular intervals. This first edition resonated in the leading international circles, due to the scale it reached, and also thanks to the capacity to mobilise and generate global debate in the area of architecture and the city.

Urban Voids focused on phenomena of rarefaction or urban rupture generated by processes of physical and social decay and degradation in city areas. These are expectant spaces, more or less abandoned, more or less undefined in the scattered peripheries. They are spots of “non-city”, absent spaces, ignored or laid to disuse, oblivious or surviving to any territorial structuring systems.

The exhibitions that were presented were distributed in four sites, or four spaces: the Portugal Pavilion, the Cordoaria Nacional, the EDP Foundation, and the city of Cascais. The Portugal Pavilion, projected by Álvaro Siza Vieira and built for the Expo “98, was the main space: the 1st site and headquarters to the 2007 Triennale, and it hosted five different exhibitions: “Portugal”, “Countries”, “Landscape”, “Invited Architects”, and “Universities”. The Cordoaria Nacional worked as 2nd site and hosted the exhibition “AMP/AML XXI” and “Promoters and Producers”. The 3rd site was based at the EDP Foundation, and hosted the Cycle Architecture and Music, in the space of the Tejo Power Station. And finally, the 4th site was in Cascais, with the exhibition Cascais XXI. 

The 2nd site of the Cordoaria Nacional hosted exhibitions that disclosed the urban voids in the metropolitan areas of Lisbon and Porto, with a special highlight to public space projects and constructions. The exhibition “AMLXXI” was commissioned by Cristina Veríssimo and Diogo Burnay, and “AMPXXI” by Ana Vieira and Nuno Sampaio. At the Cordoaria there was also the exhibition “Promoters and Producers”, commissioned by João Manuel Alves and João Costa Ribeiro.

Site No. 3, EDP Foundation’s Tejo Power Station promoted a cycle of Architecture and Music. And finally, site No. 4, through a partnership with the Municipality of Cascais, hosted an exhibition entitled “Cascais XXI”, located in a building close to the city hall building (Paços do Concelho), in Praça 5 de Outubro, which grouped a selection of 50 projects and works, both public and private, produced in this century in the municipality of Cascais, commissioned by Fernando Martins and Paulo Jorge Fonseca.

Besides the exhibition sites, there were also interventions throughout the city (commissioned by Ricardo Aboim Inglez and Pedro Bandeira), and Extensions, that is, initiatives with a cultural character promoted by bodies outside the Triennale, though integrated in the programme of the event. Additionally, Urban Voids, the first edition of the Triennale, featured 4 exhibition sites, 1 international conference, 1 lounge and 5 competitions, and it mobilised a total number of about 52,000 people, among participants and visitors.


The conferences took place at the Teatro Camões, between 31 May and 2 June, commissioned by Paulo Martins Barata (ETH Zurich), Luis Fernández-Galiano (ETSA Madrid) and Luís Tavares Pereira (Princeton University). Each session was developed around a theme, and the conversation among the specialists was oriented by a moderator: “Redefining the Centre”, Luis Fernández-Galiano (moderator), with Richard Sennett (Professor, LSE), Eduardo Souto de Moura (Souto de Moura Arquitectos, Porto) and Jean Nouvel (Ateliers Jean Nouvel, Paris); “Reality and Scenography”, Paulo Martins Barata (moderator), with Peter Märkli (Peter Märkli Architekten, Basel), Mark Wigley (Dean and Professor, Columbia University, New York) and Steven Holl (Steven Holl Architects, New York); “Forms of Cosmopolitanism”, Kenneth Frampton (moderator), with Elizabeth Diller (Diller and Scofidio + Renfro, New York), Alejandro Zaera-Polo (Foreign Office Architects) and João Pedro Serôdio (Serôdio Furtado Arquitectos, Porto); “Flow and Permanence”, Nuno Grande (moderator), with Françoise Choay (Professor of Urbanism, Paris I et VIII) and Francisco Mangado (Architect, Pamplona), “The Centre of the Periphery”, Kurt W. Forster (moderator), with Bjarke Ingels (BIG Architects, Copenhagen), Manuel Graça Dias (Contemporânea, Lisbon) and Emilio Tuñón (Mansilla+Tuñón, Madrid); “Instant Cities, Instant Centres?”, Diogo Lopes (moderator), with Saskia Sassen (Ralph Lewis Professor of Sociology, University of Chicago), Kazuyo Sejima (SANAA, Tokyo) and Jacques Herzog (Herzog & de Meuron Architekten, Basel). 


The team of curators was vast and included names such as João Belo Rodeia (scientific curator), Jorge Figueira, and Nuno Grande (“Europe, Portuguese Architecture in Emission”), José Mateus and Luís Tavares Pereira (Exhibition Countries), Cláudia Taborda and Catarina Raposo (Exhibition Landscape, “Places and Transfer: space, ideology and action”), José Mateus (Exhibition Invited Architects), and José Adrião and Ricardo Carvalho (Exhibition Universities, “Places on Hold”).