The project for the Lisbon intermodal station is part of the masterplan for the Universal Expo of 1998 and is located in an area near the Tagus river, 5 kilometres far from the city center.
The complex exceeds the idea of physical barrier, due to the railway line, connecting through an axial system based on bilateral symmetry of the two parts of the city so to facilitate the movement of passengers, and access to the exhibition.
The Calatrava project consists of two main parts, organized into several levels: the railway station and transport (buses, metro, taxis, airport shuttles, parking), interconnected by axial longitudinal galleries; public and commercial spaces complete the equipment of the services.
The railway runs through the area on a bridge with 8 tracks, at an altitude of 19 meters, covered by a metallic modular structure, 238 meters long, 68 deep and 28 high.
The structure is covered only with glass, so daylight can illuminate the station during the day, and interior lights provide an ethereal glow at night.
The beautiful and massive metal skeleton with the forms created by the arches of the pillars seems to emulate palm trees, but also interacts with tradition remembering the structures of stone Gothic cathedrals.
The structural elements are painted white and the nerves of these so-called palms spread out to hold a folding glass roof where geometry and organic shapes find a synthesis in abstraction.