Friday, February 1, 2008

On the Waterfront, With Style

Overshadowed by larger, wealthier and more flashy European countries with world-renowned design specialties — Italian lighting, Scandinavian furniture, French fashion — Portugal has long hid on the Continent's margin both geographically and creatively.
For years, the best-known cultural contributions from this small seafaring nation were those stewed up in cauldrons from humble materials like squid and cod.

But that is changing, and no place embodies Portugal's emergence as a serious design destination better than the waterside Santos quarter of Lisbon.
The splashiest evidence is the Boavista site, where Norman Foster is designing a futuristic tower and commercial complex that will be filled with “galleries, studios, showrooms, exhibitions, performances, cinema, auditorium, cafes, shops, bars and restaurants,” in the words of its press materials. The goal is to create a project that “promotes the worlds of design and the arts.”
The New York Times, November 25th, 2007

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