Results 1-6of 6 Reviews
June 4, 2004
From journal Weekend trip to Lisbon
December 21, 2003
From journal Lisbon
December 30, 2002
The Parque das Nacoes is vast, so a fun way of going from one end to the other is by riding the Lisbon cable car, whisking you overhead from one end to another. You can see various landmarks below, like the slender reflecting pool lined with the flags of many nations. The plazas have colorful sculptures by over 20 artists, including several mesmerizing rolling water "volcano" sculptures.
There is an information booth near the Atlantic Pavilion with good brochures. There is even a printed list of the architects who have contributed to the design of the Parque das Nacoes.
Other landmarks at the Parque das Nacoes include the Lisbon Oceanarium, designed by Peter Chermayeff. This is a squarish hulk sitting in the Doca dos Olivais along the Rio Tejo. Its glass and metal exterior is akin to something found at a launch pad. It is one of the largest aquarium compounds in the world, hosting over 450 species and 16,000 animals and plants.
FIL (International Fair of Lisbon) is now the major convention and exhibition center in Lisbon. Designed by Barreiros Ferreira and Franca Doria, the FIL is a huge megacomplex. The exterior design attempts to visually lessen the hulk by fragmenting it into colorful digestible pieces, with limited success.
The Parque das Nacoes has proven to have a lasting power as seen by its continued use as a popular destination for locals. Some parts are aesthetically more successful than others. However, when all the buildings are taken as a whole, the Parque das Nacoes is an interesting "new city" to visit as a counterpoint to the traditional old city of Lisbon.
From journal Bill in Portugal - LISBON
December 29, 2002
This "invented city" seems to be wildly successful for the most part, as its multi-level Centro Comercial Vasco da Gama is quite a drawing card for locals of all ages. This shopping center was designed by Jose Manuel Quintela Fonseca. Even if you do not spend a cent here, go to some of the viewing platforms for excellent views of the Parque, the river, and Calatrava's Oriente Station. Once you escape past the alluring stores, food emporiums, and movie theaters, you can descend upon a wealth of entertainment options.
The brooding mass of the Atlantic Pavilion is now the site of major concerts and performances. Formerly the Utopia Pavilion, this indoor arena can hold 16,000 spectators. Designed by Regino Cruz and the architectural firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, its interior of exposed wood frames is visually more successful than its exterior.
The accomplished Portuguese architect Alvaro Siza Vieira, with Eduardo Souto de Moura, designed the Portugal Pavilion (built 1995-97) for Expo '98. It is a minimalist building, with blocks of boldly colored walls alternating with vertical elements. Its stern facade of creamy Portuguese limestone faces the dock and river, and there are plenty of folks walking, biking, and skating by here. The central space is sheltered by a thin deformed frame roof which has a "sagging" curve to it, giving it a simultaneously light and weighty look. Originally a staging area for ceremonies during Expo '98, it was to be used for government offices afterwards. Unfortunately, today the pavilion is vacant and is basically a monument for now.
The Vasco da Gama Tower, designed by the firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, anchors the north end of the grounds. It is the tallest structure in Lisbon at 145 meters, and has a viewing deck and restaurant with excellent views overlooking the Rio Tejo and the lengthy Vasco da Gama Bridge. The tower has the look of a sailboat and seems to be reminiscent of the two seaside Belem monuments. The north entrance gate (designed by Manuel Mendes Tainha) has a nice wooden look to it, and was originally the main entrance for Expo visitors arriving by car. Today, the gatehouse contains a funland emporium for kids. Sony Plaza is a gathering spot in this area.
(Continued in Part 2)
by Re Carroll
Abbotsford, British Columbia
June 24, 2001
Some of the Expo attractions are still in operation. The Oceanarium is the largest one in Europe and has displays of many marine animals. The Torre Vasco da Gama offers elevator rides to the viewing platforms at the top. Open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, the tower is a great spot to be after sunset when yu can see all the lights of Lisbon (500$). The cable cars, like Disney's People Movers, run from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and provide a bird's eye view of the whole Expo site (500$). There are a number of restaurants on the site as well.
The Vasco da Gama Mall across the street is a modern, multi-story shopping complex with a glass roof and a continual supply of water that flows along the roof. The womens' bathroom has interesting decor - the countertops are clear resin with different types of make up containers embedded in them. The toilet seats are also clear resin and have safety pins embedded along the rim (don't worry, they're inside the seat).
The site is on the outskirts of town but is easy to get to. The best way is via the Oriente metro line. This was a new line constructed for Expo and each of the approximately half dozen stations is beautifully decorated with colourful tiles.
From journal Exploring Lisbon
by Jose Kevo
March 20, 2001