• Answer Question
See all Questions

Lisbon Architecture Triennale
12 Sep – 15 Dec 2013

Close, Closer is a series of exhibitions and public programmes which aims to challenge and question the role of the architect in contemporary society. We are initiating a discussion around this fast-changing landscape and your input is critical. How can we get closer? It's over to you!

Read the Close, Closer launch booklet


Exhibition: The Real And Other Fictions

The Real and Other Fictions takes place in Palácio Pombal, a building that has had diverse uses and programmes through the course of its history. From residence to embassy, it hosted numerous events and situations. The exhibition brings back the past uses of the building through spatial interventions that foster encounters between the palace and the visitor. Departing from historical facts, the interventions present there construct ideological fictions materialized in real spaces and programmes to be used by the public. For the first time agglomerated in synchrony, the past uses, now re-enacted, re-imagined, are juxtaposed.

The preoccupation underlying this exhibition has to do with the ambiguity and the paradoxes beneath the practice of hospitality, with the laws and norms that define and influence the ways in which architecture is used. The subjects and situations generated by the works presented destabilize the rules and compromises inherent to the occupation and use of space. They raise questions about the places in which we move everyday, the ways in which we relate to them and how they make us relate to the other. In the intimacy that they establish between place and occupant, each work practices a form of hospitality. Either to note the conflicts embedded in its exercise or to remind us of the urgency of its application, to prompt unexpected encounters, or to promote oppositions, convergences, battles or consensus.



  • Sala da Nação – Embaixada de Terra Nenhuma (The Nation Room – Embassy of No Land)

    Paulo Moreira (PT) & Kiluanji Kia Henda (AO)

    In the second half of the 20th century, the embassy of Spain was located at Palácio Pombal. All the archives were burnt in 1975 during a demonstration against the order to execute political activists proclaimed during the Spanish dictatorial regime. We found no record of the documents that were produced, read, approved or denied there.

    Against the current backdrop of general misgivings about the existing political models, evidenced by protests and demonstrations calling out for alternatives to the current systems, this is the embassy of a fictional nation, one that does not represent any particular time or place. The familiar elements that constitute the reception room of an embassy – code of conduct, urn, flag, throne, portrait – are sabotaged here, to communicate a new order. Every week, associations, organizations and groups working in the areas of activism, citizenship and social inclusion will be ambassadors on a rota, giving voice to citizens and realities that are usually under-represented. Receptions, performances, roundtables are some of the events that will be hosted, all open to the public.

    If you would like to take part in this project, please register your interest at: embaixada@trienaldelisboa.com

  • The Universal Declaration of Urban Rights

    Zuloark (ES)

    Between 1986 and 2002, the Portuguese Association of Landscape Architects’ rules, codes, ethics and mission were designed, written and conducted from within the walls of the palace.

    Presented as an infrastructure for communal reasoning about the rights to the city and the rights of being a citizen, the intent of this project is to build a Universal Declaration of Urban Rights, aiming to reach a consensus about the methodologies that regulate the construction, legislation and use of public space. Every Tuesday at 19:00, there is a Parliamentary Session led by guest speakers, open to the public, that contributes to the making of one article. Based on a trial and error methodology, the declaration will evolve as the project develops, throughout the course of the exhibition, written in successive drafts, throughout the course of the exhibition.

    Parliamentary Sessions:

    14 September: Opening Session, with Zuloark
    17 September: Article 1 – Inhabiting Controversy, with Pedro Campos Costa
    24 September: Article 2 - Mind the Gap, with Filipa Ramalhete and Janaína Cardoso
    1 October: Article 3 – Open Source City, with LIKE Architects
    8 October: Article 4 – Half-done City, with Manuel Van Hoben
    15 October: Article 5 – Equipped Square, with João Caria Lopes, Atelier Base
    22 October: Critical retrospective, with Zuloark
    29 October: Article 6 – “Commons” Sense, with Assembleia Popular da Graça
    5 November: Article 7 – Resisting in the City, with Artéria
    12 November: Article 8 – Transparency and Open Data, with Mônica Mesquita, Fronteiras Urbanas
    19 November: Article 9 – Opening Doors, with Luísa Alpanhão
    26 November: Article 10 – Handmade Urbanism, with Reaction Team
    3 December: Article 11 – Urban Parliaments, with Tiago Mota Saraiva (Ateliermob) & João Lopes
    10 December: Closing Session, with Zuloark

  • Games To Lose Control

    Carsten Höller (DE)

    From 1927 to 2002, the headquarters of Casa da Madeira – Official Representation of the Autonomous Region of Madeira – was located at the palace. Pool, checkers, table-football and chess were some of the games offered to the associates to play.

    The places in which we move every day choreograph logical movements such as going up stairs or stopping before a wall. Other places, such as funfairs and adventure parks, choreograph other movements, which are less logical and privilege small moments of madness provided by extreme physical and mental experiences. Through three games, Carsten Höller invites visitors to enter an expedition during which they can escape logic and lose control. Memory Game, The Contrary Game and Lisbon Twins, are composed of instructions and devices to be applied in the premises of the palace by visitors, actors and staff.

    Visitors are welcome to play the games, to watch or join the performances. The games have an unpredictable schedule: they can happen anywhere, anytime, any day.

  • L.Q.F.U.B. Spacecraft

    Friendly Fire (PT)

    The 18th century Academia dos Ilustrados met regularly in this palace. Intellectuals would meet here to read and discuss literature and philosophy. It was recorded that on 20 December 1717 Aristotle’s rules of history and politics were read.

    L.Q.F.U.B. is a little magazine that grows progressively, throughout the course of the exhibition. It consists of a three-dimensional publication that is simultaneously discussion and work place, a critical space and a space of critique. The structure of this “spatial” zine follows the ceremonial division of the members of the 18th Century Academy:  the problematic, the artistic, the spontaneous, the heroic, the political, the academics, the radicals, the ludic, the fantastical. Throughout the course of the exhibition there will be academy meetings – the Fanzine Machine workshops - led by groups who will debate, develop and edit the content of the publication.

    Visitors are welcome to contribute spontaneously to the publication and join the scheduled workshops entitled Fanzine Machine.

    Fanzine Machine sessions:

    21 September, 15:00 Lens – The Problematic: Colectivo F.A.U.P. (Fânzeres Alliance of Urban Photoshopping)
    5 October, 15:00 Lens – The Artistic: Clube de Desenho
    16 October, 19:30 Lens – The Spontaneous: Conversas
    19 October, 15:00 Lens – The Heroic: Colectivo Mundo Novo
    2 November, 15:00 Lens – The Political: O Espelho
    9 November, 15:00 Lens – The Academic: Ruptura Silenciosa
    16 November, 15:00 Lente – The Radicals: Arq.a
    30 November, 15:00 Lens – The Ludic: Dédalo
    14 December, 15:00 Lens –The Fantastical: Friendly Fire

  • The Planetary Sculpture Supper Club

    Center for Genomic Gastronomy (NO/US)

    Sebastião José de Carvalho e Melo, Count of Oeiras, Marquis of Pombal, owned the palace. A controversial figure, often referred to as an illuminated despot, the Marquis was the prime minister of Portugal, responsible for the reconstruction of Lisbon after the 1755 earthquake. The project of the city was likely discussed in the main room of palace, over dinner.

    This project is composed of a dining table and a collection of menus that typify some of the ways in which humans unconsciously sculpt the planet’s biosphere through eating habits, flavour preferences and food technologies. It explores the co-evolution of gastronomy and larger ecological, technological and political systems.  The ingredients and respective preparation are linked with the themes of the conversations to be held during dinner: Slow Expectations, Decadence for All and Recipes for Disaster. Sitting between political fiction and gastronomic experience, The Planetary Sculpture Supper Club sits the visitor at the dinner table on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 19:00 to 22:00. On Saturdays, dinners are presided by a host of marquises nominated by Carlos Vaz Marques (see “A Cidade à Mesa”- Residencies) and a guest architect to be announced.

    All recipes are developed by the Center for Genomic Gastronomy in collaboration with Heather Julius, chefs António Henriques, Fábio Bernardino, Pedro Bettencourt and Vasco Alves and the culinary schools of Hospitality and Tourism of Estoril, Lisboa and Setúbal.

    The dinners are held every Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays (from 15 September to 14 December 2013)

    Themes: Slow Expectations, Decadence for All, Recipes for Disaster.

    Slow Expectations
    After a century of speed, are we ready for a radical slowing down? Food served under this theme will be the result of the most ineffective processes in terms of growing, transportation and distribution, as well as forms of cooking, serving and consuming it. Conversation will address issues of quickness, self-imposed slowness, and the possibility of choice, finding another pace and another rhythm, on the outer edge of that which global capitalism dictates.

    Decadence for All
    Are the experiences of true decadence only within the reach of the privileged few? Is the universal access to pleasure and joy a goal worth fighting for? The food served under this theme will resort to ingredients and recipes originating from intensive exploitative practices. It should also simulate decadent meals, placing these absurd and fantastic ingredients at everybody’s disposal. The conversation can revolve around the issue of the 1%, namely, the way we are partly to blame for a consumption society that produces so many choices and so much waste, and the
    political power wielded by the search for pleasure in the face of austerity.

    Recipes for Disaster
    There seems to be a widespread interest nowadays in the various millennial variants of this tradition, namely, both those who anticipate a global disaster by preparing against it, and those who view it as inevitable. Food served in the course of this debate will touch upon end-of-the-world and last suppers stories. The conversation will revolve around the idea of the death and rebirth of the world as we know it and how we can prepare for the worst and still make a good meal out of it.

    The dinners begin at 19:00 sharp.

    15 Sep Governo Sombra (João Miguel Tavares, Pedro Mexia, Ricardo Araújo Pereira) – SOLD OUT
    21 Sep – Slow Expectations/Gonçalo M. Tavares (writer) - SOLD OUT
    26 Sep – Decadence for All BUY
    27 Sep – Decadence for All BUY
    28 Sep – Decadence for All/Catarina Portas (entrepreneur) BUY
    3 Oct  – Slow Expectations BUY
    4 Oct Slow Expectations BUY
    5 OctSlow Expectations/Delfim Sardo (college professor, president of the International Association of Art Critics, Portugal) BUY
    10 Oct Recipes for Disaster BUY
    11 Oct Recipes for Disaster BUY
    12 OctRecipes for Disaster/Rui Horta (choreographer, founder of artistic structure O Espaço do Tempo, in Montemor-o-Novo) BUY
    17 Oct Decadence for All BUY
    18 Oct Decadence for All BUY
    19 OctDecadence for All/António Barreto (sociologist, president of Foundation Francisco Manuel dos Santos) BUY
    24 OctSlow Expectations BUY
    25 OctSlow Expectations BUY
    26 OctSlow Expectations/Joana Amaral Dias (psychiatrist) BUY
    31 Oct Recipes for Disaster BUY
    1 Nov – Recipes for Disaster BUY
    2 Nov – Recipes for Disaster/Maria Filomena Mónica (sociologist) BUY
    7 Nov Decadence for All BUY
    8 Nov Decadence for All BUY
    9 Nov – Decadence for All/Clara Ferreira Alves (journalist) BUY
    14 Nov – Slow Expectations BUY
    15 Nov – Slow Expectations BUY
    16 Nov – Decadence for All/Rui Tavares (historian, independent member of the European parliament) BUY
    21 Nov – Recipes for Disaster BUY
    22 Nov – Recipes for Disaster BUY
    23 Nov – Recipes for Disaster/Inês Medeiros (actress, film director and member of parliament) BUY
    28 Nov – Decadence for All BUY
    29 Nov – Decadence for All BUY
    30 Nov – Decadence for All/Helena Roseta (alderwoman for the Municipality of Lisbon, architect) BUY
    5 Dec – Slow Expectations BUY
    6 Dec – Slow Expectations BUY
    7 Dec – Slow Expectations/José Tolentino Mendonça (poet, vice-dean of the Universidade Católica, priest) BUY
    12 Dec Recipes for Disaster BUY
    13 Dec – Recipes for Disaster BUY
    14 Dec – Recipes for Disaster/Surprise guest BUY

    The dinners are held for a minimum of 12 people.
    For group reservations please contact supperclub@trienaldelisboa.com

    Only bookings cancelled no less than 72 hours prior to the event will be refunded.

  • In Dreams I Walk With You

    Noam Toran (US) & Onkar Kular (UK)

    On 31 January 1912, 620 anarcho-syndicalists were arrested in the then headquarters of the movement, located at Palácio Pombal. Expelled from the building at gunpoint, it was reported that the anarchists proudly sang “The International”, before being led away.

    A theatrical piece inspired by the “Worker’s Theatre” of the early 20th century in Europe, whose remit was to depict the struggle of the working class with the aim of arousing social consciousness and collective action. The subject of the play focuses on the relationship between Mário Castelhano (1894–1940) and Manuel Rijo (1897–1974): railworkers, militant anarchists, and syndicalist organisers who shared most of their adult lives in exile or imprisonment. Set in a degree zero architecture, the prison cell, the piece depicts a series of daring 'escapes' in which the prisoners mentally construct varying utopias to imaginatively travel to.  The work is accessed in the form of a written script, facing a theatre set empty of actors. At once a commemoration of the humanist values of political anarchism and a reflection on the fragility of contemporary political culture, the work is a meditation on the inherent problems of, but necessity for, the desire and production of utopias.

    The piece draws from historical archives and texts, the writings of Castelhano, Rijo and other interned anarchists, as well as literary texts by Manuel Puig, Bruno Schulz, and Ursula LeGuin.



  • Slowly Ceiling

    Alex Schweder (US)

    Jácome Ratton lived in the Palace in the 19th century. He was a nobleman and a Knight of the Royal House, plus a Knight of the Order of Christ. During the French invasions, he was arrested in the palace under suspicion of being a Jacobin, and it was while exiled in England that he wrote his memoirs of Lisbon.

    Slowly Ceiling is an architecture that transforms over time. Reflecting upon the condition of exile, this space invites visitors to fall asleep and transforms slowly, occupying a progressively larger area, hence providing a smaller and smaller space. The piece is durational, inflating and deflating in a constant loop, never achieving a final state but rather existing forever in movement. Slowly Ceiling is a performative architecture that enacts displacement, scripting the movements of the visitor. First it welcomes, then keeps as hostage, and later it evicts. To ensure the best experience, tours should be limited to 2 participants at the time, each lying down in a separate sofa. Please note that the performance of the piece lasts 30 minutes.


  • Residence 1 – Maria Fusco (NI): The Legend of The Necessary Dreamer

    "The Legend of The Necessary Dreamer" consists of a real-time reportage from the palace. During her residency, Maria Fusco engaged in field-writings examining the physical vulnerability of the rooms, giving material voice and restoring purpose to the dreamer. Her texts will be told on a daily basis in the oratory of the palace: one storyteller speaking intimately to one listener.

  • Residency 2 – Carlos Vaz Marques (PT): A Cidade à Mesa

    Carlos Vaz Marques is the host and chairman of “The Planetary Sculpture Supper Club” dinners. Every saturday he nominates marquis one figure of the Portuguese culture. Each marquis must bring a proposal for Lisbon, to be discussed with a guest architect and the rest of the diners. The dinners are divided into three themes: Slow Expectations, Decadence for All and Recipes for Disaster.

  • Residency 3 – Carlos Azeredo Mesquita (PT): Detailed close-ups of far-off scenes

    Carlos Azeredo Mesquita will use photography as a tool to expand on the narratives associated with each of the moments of the exhibition and their corresponding reference to past uses of Palacio Pombal. This will be take the form of an exercise of free association that makes references to various, more or less unexpected, real situations and examples, using a pseudo-scientific methodology leading to pseudo-encyclopaedic results.