Originally located in the outskirts of Lisbon, Thalia Theatre opened in the 1840s. A venue of leisure for a local aristocrat, it burned down shortly after and remained derelict since then. The project reconverted its ruins into a multipurpose arena for conferences, exhibitions or concerts. To retain the old walls, the exterior was encased with terracotta concrete. The interior remained as it was, like a fossil. An adjacent single-story pavilion, entirely glazed with gilded glass, faces the street nearby. This serpentine houses additional program and mirrors the context around. Described as “a mash-up of the Neues Museum, a Peter Brook performance and a Rachel Whiteread sculpture,” the project combines the old and new parts of the building into an urban ensemble with views to the nearby Zoo.

with Gonçalo Byrne Arquitectos
Date: 2008-2012 | Location: Lisbon, Portugal | Client: Portuguese Ministry of Education and Science | Architecture: Gonçalo Byrne, Patrícia Barbas, Diogo Lopes
Collaborators: Hugo Ferreira, Jan Vojtísek, João Neves, Lígia Ribeiro, Luca Martinucci, Tânia Roque  | Engineering: AFAconsult, Natural Works | Contractor: ACF
Photography: DMF | Area: 1.600 m2 | Budget: 2.700.000 €