The Lisbon Architecture Triennale, happening between May 31st and July 31st, aims to become a ‘Festival’ of architecture, participated by the local community and able to attract an international audience. In this initiative by the Architects’ Guild – South Region Section, where some of the most relevant authors and thinkers of today’s world will interact, Portuguese Architecture will be pretext for an important global forum dedicated to the reflection, debate, prospecting and display of Architecture, from the building to the city and territory planning.

Architecture is one of the most vibrant fields of Culture in Portugal, with a wide international renown and considered as strategic sector for the affirmation of Portugal in the international context.

The 1st edition of the Triennale will have as theme “Urban Voids”, focusing on rarefaction or urban rupture phenomena, generated by processes of decay and physical and social degradation in city areas.

These are expectant spaces, more or less abandoned, more or less limited at the heart of the traditional city, or more or less undefined at the diffuse peripheries. They are spots of “non-city”, absent places, ignored or not used anymore, aliens or survivors to any territory-structuring systems.

In many cities of the world, these “Urban Voids” are under questioning and debate. New intervention concepts and strategies, models for functionality and management are being planned, as well as platforms for public/private interaction.

Considering this setting, the Lisbon Triennale intends to analyse, debate and contrive solutions, suggestions, means and instruments for intervention. All the actors will have a voice at the forum’s stages: architects, city planners, landscape architects, and other authors and thinkers, as well as administration entities, investors, promoters and building companies involved with the transformations projected for the Lisbon and Oporto metropolises.

The future of the main cities and urban territories of the planet greatly depends upon the destiny of these “Urban Voids”. And with these, it also comes the time to think and plan a 21stcentury Lisbon.

The Lisbon Triennale’s head office will be the Portugal Pavillion, designed by Álvaro Siza Vieira, a paradigmatic reference of portuguese and international contemporary architecture, where most of the major exhibitions will take place in its 3000m2 of exhibiting area. A set of other exhibitions will happen in other points of the city, crossing borders with the visual arts, music, cinema and other fields that have strong connections with architecture.

The International Architecture Conference The Heart of the City will be the main opening event of the Lisbon Architecture Triennale, joining, from 31st May to 2nd Juin, over 30 international guests involved in the reflection of the contemporary city as practicing architects, urban planners, artists, architecture critics, philosophers and historians.

Paying homage to the CIAM 8 motto “The Heart of the City”, held in Hoddesdon in 1951, the theme of the conference aims to provoke a debate on the undergoing mutations in the definition of the contemporary city.

Zaha Hadid, Pritzker Award winner 2004, Peter Eisenman, professor at the University of Yale, Mark Wigley, director of the University of Columbia in New York, Kurt Foster, director of the Architecture Biennal of Venice in 2004, the Portuguese Eduardo Souto de Moura and João Luís Carrilho da Graça, the spanish Mansilla and Tuñón and North-American Diller & Scofidio + Renfo, are some of the participants.

The conference will also be counting on the attendances of Elisabeth Diller, of the Diller & Scofidio+Renfro, from New York, Bjarke Ingels, of the Big Architects from Copenhagen, Emílio Tuñón, of the Mansilla e Tuñón, from Madrid, Jan Kaplicky, of the British Future Systems and the Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, amongst many others. Amongst the portuguese, the attendances of the architects Carrilho da Graça, João Pedro Serôdio, Pedro Gadanho and Manuel Graça Dias are confirmed.