mayer park project | lisbon | portugal | 2002

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emanuel dimas de melo pimenta

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Symbols? I am tired of the symbols...
But, people say that everything is symbol.
All say nothing.
What symbols? Dreams. –

Álvaro de Campos (December 18. 1934)

When I was a boy, several times, I went to the Mayer Park, in Lisbon, to the theatres there, with my parents, with my grandfather.
Later, very later, the innumerable lunches at the restaurants in the Park.
Who could forget those wonderful moments breathing Lisbon?
Like if we would be in other world.
Like if the magic city could affectionately embrace us.
And the fantastic histories did not only cross there. They remained, real, projecting ethereal and imaginary roots, transforming
everything into magnificent scenery of ideas.
I am not interested in symbols, monuments or immovable, fixed things.
Only rupture creates new traditions, and we can only create something new from what exists.
I am more interested on skin, deprogrammable systems, mutation, auto-regulation.
The flux of the waters.
Stones that connect time.
Everything as process.
So, it was, in some sense, the Mayer Park I knew. There was, then, a continuous state of impermanence, the unknown future, a
present surprise, always.
Even in the most recent periods, when practically nothing worked, everything devoted to the abandon, it always was the shining
image of the theatre, of the magical world of the stage.
We looked to one side and we still disclosed something green, not well defined origin, announcing birds, suddenly launching us to the
country and unveiling something of the charming Botanic Garden.
But, they were scraps, badly sewn lines, as if – forbidden – the Garden intended to had entered there, invading the long continuous
wall that, hard ascent, followed us as border.
Then, it was enough to deeply breathe and to look at the blue sky that, still when it was not, would be present to punctuate our souls
with the stars and the mysterious nocturnal light of Lisbon.
And the river.
The sea.
Immensity that invade and let be invaded.
In the other side of everything, Lisbon.
The imagined project is, through such paths, an operation to include all the architects, all artists, all theatres, all music, literature,
drawings and thoughts of the world.
Irregular cover, geodesic in some sense, primary, principle, that is born from the imprecise contour, shadow on the site, without strict
limits or closed bodies, integrating the Botanic Garden, becoming with the Park a subtle continuation, as a fabric of changes.
Cover that does not avoid the light, neither the moonlight.
Or even the air.
Blanket to catch the rainwater flow and to reintegrate it into the Nature, to the subterraneous layers.
Skin that breaths and that allows to breathe.
Inside – if we could, in some way, to consider explicitly interior and exterior worlds, things that not mix themselves – everything is a
dynamic stage, all the time.
Structure of strategy that brings in itself everything to all programs.
Tables, chairs, spaces belonging to a garden, admiring artworks, new spaces, scenery in metamorphosis.
Spaces daily invented.
Always redesigned, re-imagined.
There, everything can happen.
Now, outdoors theatre.
Tomorrow, concerts.
Games... what we will want.
Continuous metamorphosis.
Spaces inside spaces.
All the internal buildings are, by their own nature, transformable – beyond mutants, deprogrammable.
Where today is a bookstore, fast and flexible, tomorrow will be changed into a restaurant, an exhibition... what we imagine.
What program?
The big transparent structure is a simple thing.
First of all, complex drawing of light.
Because everything is made of changes.
Mutant spaces inside a space, to be permanently imagined and recreated by all the architects, all artists, all theatres, all music,
literature, drawings and thoughts of the world.
Space of liberty.

A contribution for the challenge launched by Leonel Moura, architect, plastic artist, thinker, friend, made of freedom, so that the cities
will not die in the labyrinthical knots of bureaucratic tyrannies, in the laws that submit ideas, in the rules that asphyxiates the free
thinking – the space.

Emanuel Dimas de Melo Pimenta
New York, November 2002


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