Mirror Wall, 2015, Lisbon


FESTAS DE LISBOA 2016 | CRIAR LISBOA | Open Call Proposal BY CHEPAS Collective


Lisbon is generally and correctly considered to be a charming and beautiful city because of its ancient architecture in the city centre, the presence of architectural monuments and the slanting landscape, providing wide views over the Tejo. Its famous miradouro’s are the exponents of this beauty and provide lovely places to enjoy the view this city is constantly surprising you with.  But what is the real added value of all this beauty for urban life of this city?

With our proposal for the open call of CRIAR, we want to evoke reflection on what Lisbon would be without its beauty. About what this beauty-factor means for the city in the present, and will mean for the further development of the city in the future. Is nostalgia a worthy advisor in city planning or is the large amount of historical heritage rather a handicap for the further modernisation of the city? We think self-reflection is an important issue in urbanism, art and life in general and with our work we want to reserve a prominent place in the city for doing so. This place can hardly be anywhere else than in the public space of one of the miradouro’s itself. They namely are the centre of the beauty policy, and are being used for individual, passive reflection for over decades.

This is why we propose to add a large mirrored wall to the Miradouro do Santo Amauro. We want to use this large mirror as a symbol of reflection on the one hand and as a spatial intervention on the other. A large mirror that literally redirects the views of visitors towards each other and the city. And a wall, that defines a new space inside the public place of the Miradouro. A space for reflection and debate, that could be used by inhabitants to gather and talk about the neighbourhood, but also by artists and architects to debate about the space they are standing in, the Miradouro, and think about its potential and place in the larger urban tissue. It could be the scenery for lectures, performances, theatre or participative debate, to re-activate the public space of the Miradouro’s, to change passive reflection in active debate, in any possible form. By adding nothing but a mirror.