Of the many striking structures built for Lisbon’s World Fair in 1998, the Portugal Pavillion is perhaps the one that remains the most talked about today. It was designed by Pritzker Award-winning architect Siza Vieira, and has a huge undulating roof that instantly catches the eye of everyone passing by. Yet it remains surprisingly empty inside, although there have been numerous ideas about what to do with it over the past decade. Many of those ideas were for museums, but they have never gone beyond the planning stages. That is until now, with the government announcing it is turning it into a contemporary museum relating to the world discoveries. The tentative name is the Museum of Voyages, and it is hoped to be able to open its doors in 2011.
The idea is for it to mix culture and science, showcasing pieces that are currently found in different museums around the country, while also incorporating multimedia displays. It won’t therefore be a traditional museum, but essentially a cultural center that will also include temporary attractions. A restaurant is also being planned, although everything that has been reported is still in the pre-planning stage, and the official project will only be revealed later this year.Â Of course GoLisbon.com will tell you about it as soon as that happens.