álvaro siza reconnects lisbon's chiado district with carmo terrace álvaro siza reconnects lisbon's chiado district with carmo terrace
feb 28, 2016

álvaro siza reconnects lisbon's chiado district with carmo terrace

álvaro siza reconnects lisbon’s chiado district with carmo terrace
all images courtesy of câmara municipal de lisboa




on august 25th 1988, the portuguese city of lisbon suffered one of the most violent fires in its history. in total, the ‘fire of chiado’ destroyed 18 buildings, as well as many offices and residential properties. there were two casualties and 73 individuals injured, most of whom were firefighters attempting to contain the raging inferno. it is estimated that about 2,000 people lost their jobs, as commercial activity was significantly reduced. in the aftermath, the city council invited architect álvaro siza vieira to develop a masterplan for the area — a process which began in 1989. some of the most immediate restoration was seen in the replacement of pedestrian routes between baixa and chiado through the implementation metal walkways, preventing the district from becoming completely isolated.

the new terrace joins the ancient convent with the street below




for more than a decade, siza has been leading an extensive restoration that has seen chiado transform into a zone of thriving real estate. the portuguese architect’s plan encourages pedestrian routes through the creation of two patios that are within blocks of the main buildings, thus reopening the ancient links between the baixa shelf and its neighboring hills. their presence restricts traffic and car parking through the redesign of public space and the planning of new commercial zones. the revitalization also promotes residential occupation, something that was lacking at the time of the fire.

the configuration creates new public plazas




in order to make the area more accessible, a walkway known as ‘the carmo terrace’ now connects the redevelopment, joining an ancient convent with the street below. this latest architectural installment creates new public plazas, bringing the area into contact with the church’s surroundings, and providing sweeping views over rossio and the rest of lisbon from the raised platform. to ensure that the renovation did not visually disturb the area’s history, a survey of traditional paving methods informed the street surfaces, as well as pavements and patios. see designboom’s previous coverage of the project here.

the scheme provides sweeping views across the surrounding landscape

the site’s original masterplan was presented in 1989

a survey of traditional paving methods informed pavement surfaces

the neighborhood is now a zone of thriving real estate

the project aims to make the entire neighborhood more accessible

    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


    a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

    architecture news