'At Home' in Lisbon

John Hill
11. April 2021
At Home. Projects for Contemporary Housing, April 16 - September 5, 2021. Garagem Sul, Centro Cultural de Belém, Lisbon, Portugal. (Photo: Tiago Casanova © Garagem Sul, CCB, 2021)

Opening on April 16 at Garagem Sul / Centro Cultural de Belém in Lisbon, At Home: Projects for Contemporary Housing follows the exhibition of the same name that opened at MAXXI in Rome back in 2019. The new iteration builds upon the predecessor's pairing of housing projects at a range of scales, adding Portuguese examples that further explore how housing has changed in recent decades.

In its move from Italy to Portugal, At Home. Projects for Contemporary Housing finds a fitting locale at Garagem Sul, which is housed in the massive Centro Cultural de Belém, the nearly 30-year-old building designed by the late Italian architect Vittorio Gregotti with Portuguese architect Manuel Salgado. This piece of evidence of Italian/Portuguese collaboration continues in the projects in the exhibition: André Tavares and Sérgio Catumba have expanded upon the original selection by Margherita Guccione and Pippo Ciorra, with fourteen Portuguese buildings added to the two-dozen Italian and global projects.

The original At Home exhibition predated the coronavirus pandemic, a situation that delayed its opening at Garagem Sul. The impressions of visitors in Lisbon will no doubt be colored by the pandemic's immense impact on our daily lives. People may be looking at the projects that range from small-scale shelters to large-scale collective housing for solutions, for ways of moving forward. Speaking during a virtual press conference last week, Garagem Sul curator André Tavares mentioned that a lot of the ideas now being batted around — flexible housing situations, better senior housing, a focus on the individual, etc. — have already been explored and are present in the exhibition's projects. In turn, visitors to Garagem Sul between April 16 and September 5, 2021 may just leave At Home with a feeling of optimism.

Take a brief visual tour through parts of the exhibition:

Garagem Sul, as the name indicates, occupies a former parking garage. For At Home, the curators opened up the whole museum footprint, using color to organize the large space. (Photo: Tiago Casanova © Garagem Sul, CCB, 2021)
The columns define fourteen "islands" where projects of a similar scale or other characteristic are grouped together and explained through drawings, models, and other media. (Photo: Tiago Casanova © Garagem Sul, CCB, 2021)
According to the curators, the exhibition acts as a "dialogue between the work of architects of previous generations with those of more recent generations." For instance, a model of Ryue Nishizawa's Moriyama House in Tokyo, seen here, is juxtaposed with ... (Photo: Tiago Casanova © Garagem Sul, CCB, 2021)
... a film exploring the works of Serviço Ambulatório de Apoio Local (SAAL) in Portugal thirty years after their creation. These projects are combined with Stefano Boeri's famous Bosco Verticale to "reveal daily life to be the fundamental dimension of habitation." (Photo: Tiago Casanova © Garagem Sul, CCB, 2021)
Projects exploring a sense of community are found in a trio that includes David Adjaye's Sugar Hill Development in New York City, an affordable housing development "in the heart of accelerated capitalism," as described in the wall text. (Photo: Tiago Casanova © Garagem Sul, CCB, 2021)
The largest scale of the exhibition's fourteen groupings pairs the one-kilometer-long Corviale complex, seen here, built in Rome in the 1970s with "The Pink Panther" — relatively diminutive at "only" a half-kilometer long — designed by Gonçalo Byrne and António Reis Cabrita, built in Lisbon in the same decade. (Photo: Tiago Casanova © Garagem Sul, CCB, 2021)
Much of the content in the exhibition, such as these drawings by Carlo Scarpa for Casa Veritti in Udine, come from the extensive collection of MAXXI. (Photo: Tiago Casanova © Garagem Sul, CCB, 2021)
At Home. Projects for Contemporary Housing is on display at Garagem Sul / Centro Cultural de Belém (Praça do Império, 1449-003, Lisbon) from April 16 to September 5, 2021.

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