Ateneu Comercial de Lisboa

Offices / Retail Residential Tourism Urban Planning Travessa de Santo Antão, Lisbon, PORTUGAL
Client: Grande Cervejaria Solmar, Lda
Site area: 15.559,50 m²
Gross floor area: 21.648,00 m²
Architect: J A Zinho Antunes

This preliminary study, for the regeneration of a a sensitive and extensive area in the historic centre of Lisbon, located on a steeply rising site to the east of Av. Da Liberdade, is a proposal for an urban intervention contributing to the development of the Lisbon City Council’s Detailed Plan.
Based on an in-depth study and analysis of factors such as history, population and demography, existing green spaces, soil permeability, land registry status, car parking, seismicity, sanitation and the diversity of uses, the present study aimed to identify the urban and social needs of this area of Lisbon.

The present study proposes the rehabilitation of the ACL, restoring a modern activity centre to the city, located within the site and integrated with the green space of the area.The Ateneu Comercial de Lisboa (ACL) is a social facility, with numerous sporting and cultural functions, which is in a severe state of dilapidation, and clearly unsuitable for the activities it currently accommodates.

Located on a hill falling from east to west, it has a very rugged relief, with slopes ine excess of 35%, interspersed at different levels by a series of terraces. The lowest point, at 13.50m above sea level in the west, is located on Rua das Portas de Santo Antão and the highest point, at 54.00m in the east with open and panoramic views that extend from the Tagus River to the Ritz Hotel.

The area has a large green area within it, covered by a variety of trees and shrubs of landscape interest. Despite being surrounded by large built-up areas, the site, together with Jardim do Torel, is part of the secondary green structure of Lisbon.

Buildings at the site boundaries, located mainly to the north (along the Calçada do Lavra) and west (Ateneu Comercial de Lisboa and Palácio da Anunciada building), are listed, and are classified in the Municipal Inventory of Heritage.

The buildings to the interior of the site, some of considerable size and other smaller, are of little or no historical or architectural value.

The proposal encourages collective social use of the green areas for leisure and recreation, through improved accessibility to and from surrounding streets. By opening up the internal garden to the public, creation of footpaths linking the lowest to the highest point, Jardim do Torel to the Coliseu and construction of public facilities, it will encourage the use of this exceptional area with privileged views over the city.

An urban treatment that improves the experience and quality of the surrounding environment was also a major aim of this project. Through introduction of public uses, such as: commercial spaces mainly on Rua das Portas de Santo Antão, construction of new residential units, the eventual development of a hotel in the ACL building, demographic change and the regeneration of this area of the city will be promoted.

Measures to reduce the high number of vacant buildings include: restoration of existing listed buildings, located on the borders of the site, and introduction of new social, recreational or cultural uses, defined by the council.