A NEW OPERA HOUSE FOR THE TAGUS
The aim of the project is to characterize the territory of Lisbon with a new element visible from the waters of the river Tagus, and be able to dialogue with the other waterfront symbols of the city, thus becoming a recognizable body.
Placing the theater at the boundary of the nineteenth-century embankments means giving a symbolic value to the “new” boundary of the industrial age of Lisbon through its position on the existing quay.
The site is of an industrial nature, hence the choice of adopting an infrastructural scale which can be inserted in the context of this area of the city.
The project faces the city and the river – always a symbol of developing and expanding Lisbon – by means of two openings which are located in relation to an urban area that is generated in the vacuum, in a sort of transitory space between the theater and the surrounding corpus, taking on the function of an external foyer in which natural light is let into the entire building through a zenithal aperture.
The construction consists of an external cornice in which are gathered the spaces intended for the functions connected with the world of music and entertainment, from the ground floor used for the foyer, a bookshop and a bar area, up to the exhibition rooms on the top floor, becoming a veritable city center for music, art and entertainment. Every floor of the external cornice of the building takes on a different function with the use of a structural wall containing the various uses, subdivided by bearing partitions which, apart from giving an architectural and structural rule to the building, contain the various finalities by means of the use of wooden boxes, each intended for the different functions.
Through the four upper levels of the building it is possible to have access by means of projecting volumes which act as link elements to the theater hall.
The hall has been designed on the basis of the old meaning of thèatron, a place for looking.
My intention is to give a fresh interpretation to the classical “arena”
theater of Greek and Roman type. Through a progressive, continuous rise by means of a spiral ramp, the spectator can take the precious liberty of an individual view which emancipates him and takes him into the set, interacting subjectively with the artist.
The hall manipulates the spectator, forcing him into a relation with space and time, difficult to represent with the sole figurative setting of the scenography.
Through this subjective relation, the surface of the fourth wall is intimately revealed by the artist.
The theater hall is the culmination of the artistic circuit of the building and is
designed as a space in which space merges with matter, in a mono-material object having a single continuous form which by its very nature is infinite.
The spiral evolution progressively upward toward the spectator and downward toward the artist represents in its incomplete circularity the idea of “imperfect perfection” which ever since the classical era this figure has represented. The aesthetic tension materializes and is transferred into the emotive movement represented by the architectural solution that accompanies the stimulus of man in sublimation through art, a vehicle that goes back to anthropocentricism.