Monday, 26 October 2009

Lisbon 3 - Gulbenkian

Of course I wanted to see some contemporary buildings, as well as soak up the atmosphere of the old.

On my first morning I walked across the city to explore the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. This is a major private charity, founded by Calouste Gulbenkian, which works in the fields of education, science and the arts. In the UK it is well known for supporting and funding a wide range of arts-related activities, fuller details of which are here.

The buildings house the administrative offices of the Foundation, conference facilities, auditoria, and also some excellent art galleries and an art library. All these date from the late 1960’s, are set in quiet landscaped grounds, now grown quite dense and lush, and are really first class modernist buildings, beautifully designed and extremely well managed (often a problem with buildings from that era).

Additionally, at the south end of the site, is the newer (1983) Centre for Modern Art.

I was able to take photographs inside the Modern Art building but not inside the better 1969 buildings. If you are interested in architecture, and able to visit Lisbon, go and see for yourself. The photographs are here.

Incidentally, just last month the UK branch of the Gulbenkian relocated to new premises in Hoxton Square.

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