A much controversial new Coaches Museum is coming to Lisbon. Due to lack of space, what is currently Lisbon’s most visited national museum needs a new home, and it has been found right in front of its present location. Pritzker Award-winning architect Paulo Mendes da Rocha was called to come up with a design for the new building, and the result is what you can see above, a massive (and some say not that attractive) structure standing 4.5 meters above the ground. Inside it will include space for maintenance and repairs of the coaches, restaurants, and an auditorium for special events, as the building will be quite large (and some argue disproportionate to its surroundings).
There are many reasons for all the controversy. In addition to spending (critics say “wasting”) millions of euros on something that’s not broken and therefore doesn’t need to be fixed (when many other cultural projects lack financing), many believe the current historical building is the ideal place for the collection, and that the bare modern white walls of the future home will take away much of the charm. This is a unique collection not just for its originality when it opened to the public but also for its number of fairytale vehicles which reportedly is the world’s largest and most valuable.
After a cost of 31.5 million euros (already available thanks to taxes paid by the Lisbon Casino), it is hoped that everything will be complete in October of next year, when everyone will finally be able to see if in fact those timeless coaches will shine brighter in a grand new modern building.