New building of MAAT

Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology

Belém, Lisbon, Portugal

AL_A [Amanda Levete Architects]

Established in 2004, the EDP Foundation is one of the most prominent private foundations in Portugal. In 2011, the Foundation commissioned AL_A to design a contemporary art and cultural space as a counterpoint to the Electricity Museum and to be the next phase of the art campus. The long riverside site, bound by road and rail at the back, presented an opportunity to continue a series of cultural projects along the waterfront that have been developed since the 1990s, which include Vittorio Gregotti’s Cultural Centre of Belém and Paulo Mendes de Rocha’s Coach Museum. The new building is the centrepiece of EDP Foundation’s masterplan for an art campus that includes the repurposed Central Tejo power station.


© Hufton + Crow
© Hufton + Crow
© Hufton + Crow
© Hufton + Crow


Blending structure into landscape, the kunsthalle is designed to allow visitors to walk over, under and through the building that sits beneath a gently expressed arch. Public space is as important in today’s museum as the galleries themselves and MAAT incorporates over 7,000m2 of new public space.  The roof itself is conceived as a public space and an outdoor room of the museum. Another vital public place is created along the riverfront, with the cantilevered roof forming an area of welcome shade.

Building on Portugal’s rich tradition of craft and ceramics, almost 15,000 three- dimensional crackle glazed tiles articulate the main façade and produce a complex surface that gives mutable readings of water, light and shadow.


© Hufton + Crow
© Hufton + Crow
© Hufton + Crow
© Hufton + Crow
© Hufton + Crow
© Hufton + Crow
© Hufton + Crow
© Hufton + Crow



The exhibition spaces are extensions of the public realm, with flowing interconnected places for experiences and interactions at the intersection of the three disciplines. At the centre of the kunsthalle is the Oval Gallery, reached along a sweeping curve that merges circulation with exhibition. Surrounding it are the Main Gallery, a flexible space, and the Project Room and Video Room, two smaller spaces for installations or projections. These spaces complement the galleries of the converted Central Tejo building. ◊



Site plan © AL_A
Roof plan © AL_A
Level 0 © AL_A
Level 1 © AL_A
Cross section © AL_A
West façade © AL_A
South façade © AL_A
Phase 1 - June 2016 - Relaunch of Tejo Power Station galleries and renaming of campus as MAAT (Museu de Art, Architecture and Technology);

Phase 2 - October 2016 - Opening of the kunsthalle and its galleries, the Oval Gallery, Main Gallery, Video Room and Project Room;

Phase 3 - March 2017 - Opening of pedestrian bridge; of the restaurant and shop; opening of the outdoor park (designed by Vladimir Djurovic Landscape Architecture).


Fundação EDP




Principal: Amanda Levete
Project Director: Maximiliano Arrocet
Team: Fernando Ruiz Barberan, Mirta Bilos, Alex Bulygin, Grace Chan, Sara Ortiz Cortijo, Alice Dietsch, Ciriaco Castro Diez, Yoo Jin Kim, Ilina Kroushovski, Michael Levy, Cristina Revilla Madrigal, Stanislaw Mlynski, Ho-Yin Ng, Giulio Pellizzon, Raffael Petrovic, Chloe Piper, Filippo Previtali, Arya Safavi, Maria Alvarez-Santullano, Joe Shepherd, Paula Vega, Konstantinos Zaverdinos


Local architect

Aires Mateus e Associados


Civil, structural
& building services engineering; lighting
Vladimir Djurovic Landscape Architecture


Restaurant and shop lighting
SEAM Design


Site supervision and project management


LEED consultant
Edifícios Saudáveis


Main contractor
Alves Ribeiro


Ceràmica Cumella (cerâmica da fachada); Disset (instalação cerâmica da fachada)



Building size


Maximum length 190m
Maximum depth 60m
Footprint 8,100m2
Building maximum height 12.40m
Roof peak +15.60


Total building area 7,400m2


Total exhibition space 2,855m2


Oval Gallery 1,180m2

Main Gallery 1,050m2
Project Room 520m2
Video Room 105m2


Café 250m2

Educational centre 160m2
Offices 220m2
Museum storage 1,000m2
Technical areas 1,300m2

Total roof area 8,100m2


Green roof 2,920m2
Paved roof 4,510m2
Non-accessible GRC 670m2


Total public space given to Lisbon 9,430m2


Roof (green & paved) 7,430m2
Front steps 950m2
Riversteps 1,050m2


South façade main surface 1,130 m2
Total number of ceramic tiles 14,751