Quake Museum
Francisco Nogueira

The recognition and in-depth study of an important event in the history of Portugal

Fragmentos como Arquitetos

The Quake museum has its origins in the recognition and in-depth study of an important event in the history of Portugal, more specifically in the city of Lisbon – the 1755 earthquake. This museum showcases an event that unequivocally and decisively changed the history of Europe and of the world from the 18th century onward. The entire construction extends over two volumes, separated by the open area that is the public patio and joined by a horizontal connecting body.

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The main thematic challenge of this museum was to communicate this specific event and the entire historical and scientific context related to it, in an innovative way, using contemporary technical solutions (immersive 4D technology) that would attract all types of visitors. On the other hand, the great architectural challenge of this building was to achieve the best conditions for the development of the exhibition programme, always bearing in mind the needs of the flow and interaction of the public in the different areas of the museum, as well as coordination with the technical complexity inherent to the programme. In addition, it was intended that the building be another architectural reference point in this area of the city, without, however, intending it to gain excessive prominence, so as not to overshadow the content of the exhibition itself. 

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In formal terms, the entire construction extends over two volumes, separated by the open area that is the public patio and joined by a horizontal connecting body. The south volume is constituted primarily as the social area of Quake, with the north volume being entirely occupied by the exhibition contents. Quake is entered from the western side, coming from the Praça do Museu dos Coches into the reception hall within a double-height foyer, and adjacent to an outdoor patio, which punctuates and illuminates the entire arrival and social area (shop and cafeteria, upstairs). This is actually one of the few open areas in the entire building. The others are “surgically” located via points of view that are complementary to the exhibition route.

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