Lisbon, a city full of light and contrast

We love to travel. When we do it with eyes different from those of a tourist, we discover an infinity of new corners, colors, and shapes that fill us with inspiration.

Whenever I can, I take advantage of it and escape for a weekend to some new place, and this time I have gone to Lisbon.

Anyone who has had the opportunity to visit Portugal will agree with me that you can’t stop looking everywhere. The streets are full of color thanks to the thousands of tiles on the façades of the buildings and it is impossible to find two identical ones.
It is indisputable the work and the protagonist of the tile in this city, time passes through Lisbon and these elements survive the humid climate of the sea and the wind while in the rest of the buildings the inevitable wear of the paint does not go unnoticed.

The patterns of geometric tiles go up the walls infinitely. Each building has its own, but we all appreciate the blue and yellow tones. If we go back to older tiles (some dating from the fifteenth century) we find palettes of different colors and beautiful combinations of colors, shapes, and sizes. Lisbon reminds us that a well-used color fills any space with life, illuminating it and giving it its own personality.

But Lisbon is more than just tiles. It is a city where the passage of time is appreciated in every corner.Walking I arrived at the castle of San Jorge from where you can see the whole city.

The wall, already largely demolished, allows nature to mix with it. The invasion of space is a clear improvement. The wall is no longer a cold fortress, but, thanks to the life of nature, has made it a cozy and pleasant place that invites you to stop and rest.

This image reinforces my firm idea of the great work that plants have in any work of architecture or decoration.

In addition, another place that has attracted my attention. The ruins found under the cloister of the medieval cathedral could not go unnoticed before my eyes. There are only a few standing walls that give a glimpse of the layout of the old Portuguese city.
It was the light that entered under the new roofs of the scaffolding that caught my attention, the contrast with the darkness of the cloister turned that space into a wonderful place full of peace. The combination of materials from different periods and the different forms of each element taught me that the mixture of both furniture and materials from different periods brings richness to any composition.

I am looking forward to embarking on another journey where I can discover special and unique places like this one. And so, when I return to the studio, I come back just as full of new ideas to apply to our projects.

I’ll keep writing for you…!

Almudena Gómez-Barquero Redondo
Architect. BIM Manager GÄRNA