Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology Reflects Lisbon’s Light and Colour
Along the Tagus River edge in Lisbon stands a serpentine structure reflecting the colour and light of the water. The Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (MAAT) is a new structure which was opened to the public on the 5th October 2016. Although it is one of the newcomers to the city of Lisbon, with its roof terrace and 38 thousand square metre space, it has already become one of the most popular and iconic landmarks of this wonderful city of art.
MAAT is designed as a space for debate, critical thinking and international dialogue. With this mission, it hosts national and international artists and organizes programs and projects with contemporary artists, architects and thinkers. In this respect, it represents Portugese art and culture and creates an international platform for dialogue for a culturally diverse and rich experience conceived for all audiences and ages.
A Spectacular Building
The most distinctive feature of the MAAT is its building along the Tejo River. Designed by London-based architecture firm Amanda Levete Architects, the ambitious building project involves approximately 38 thousand square metres of exhibitive space plus 7 thousand square metres of public space. Additionally, it includes Power Station, a 20th century, red brick and steel building. Coexisting with the main museum building, this power station which was used as a former Museum of Electricity, has been renovated and transformed into a gallery space.
In contrast to the historical outlook of the power station, the new building has a façade made up of almost 15,000 three-dimensional crackle-glazed tiles. With this, it stands out as a remarkable example of the rich artistic heritage of ceramic production and crafts in Lisbon. These tiles follow the sun, as they reflect the light and shadow coming from the water and hence create wonderful scenery.
Plain, Bald and Captivating
The museum has a central eliptical exhibition space of 70 meters by 40 meters with no columns. It has a naturally-lit, plain and white atmosphere, which makes it perfect spot for large-scale exhibits and installations. The central space also leads into four subterranean rooms, with white floors and curved white walls. Different works of art are put on display in these rooms on a regular basis.
The museum collection originates from the EDP Foundation Art Collection which started in 2000 with an aim to showcase several generations of contemporary Portuguese artists, and represent various fields and disciplines present in artistic heritage of Lisbon from the 1960s onwards. The collection has grown and got richer throughout the years.
Today it includes more than 250 recognized and internationalized Portuguese artists. This Portuguese contemporary art collection which was initially developed by the EDP Foundation is regularly included in the MAAT programme of exhibitions. Thematic exhibitions organized by a guest curator and one of the museum’s curators feature Portuguese artists, bring them to an international public and hence inspire all audiences.