Today, we introduce you to another one of our special guests: the urban sketchers who contribute to the illustrations of LISBOA MARCA, a book of detachable bookmarks featuring Lisbon’s hallmarks. In Lisbon in Us by Bruno Vieira, this architect, from Torres Vedras, takes us, exploring the diverse “cities” that Lisbon holds.
The city of Lisbon, for me, is born from the connection of several cities, defined by mosaics of neighbourhoods stitched together by streets and gardens. My favourite aspects of Lisbon are the “cities” along the river, especially the “city” of Alcântara and Ajuda, and the “city” of Baixa and the surrounding hills.
Alcântara reminds me of the time I lived there, the Santo Amaro neighbourhood, the views over the river from the back windows, the seagulls always present and the river already there, the smells, the fog, the bridge, its massive pillars and the Christ in the background. It is marked by the noise of the bridge that never sleeps, the metallic hum of cars day and night, the train passing overhead and the wagons stopped on the line, the planes arriving, wheels coming off, getting ready to land, the cruises arriving and departing, with lots of people waving goodbye.
When I met Alcântara, there were small shops of all kinds, many local businesses, many bakeries, workshops, grocery shops, carpentries, fashion stores, shoe shops, warehouses, factories, etc. Gradually everything changed, some of the atmosphere of traditional commerce was lost, but a more multicultural presence and some tourism was gained.
I remember the urban transformation, the change of the old FIL (International Fair of Lisbon) and the various developments, mainly residential, that occupied obsolete areas, partly industrial. It was also interesting to see the growth and impact of the anchor of creative and touristic energy, LxFactory. The weekends of empty streets became full of cars and people.
Another aspect of Lisbon that I sometimes admire is the “city” of Baixa and the surrounding hills, with the maze of irregular streets around São Jorge Castle, the bustling life of people and commerce in Baixa and Chiado, the unobstructed views after crossing alleys and stairways, the leisure spaces by the river, and the richness of the urban layout, architecture, and undiscovered human occupation.
In recent years, tourism has saturated the streets with people and sensory noise, greatly altering the identity of the city of Lisbon in the most tourist areas, such as Baixa and Chiado. It has shown how much needs to be thought about, regulated or adapted, in terms of tourist transport, external noise at events and establishments, obstacles to pedestrian mobility present in the public space, and urban problems, such as the need for housing and sustainable tourism.
One of the most interesting sensory memories I have of Baixa is listening to classical music in Comércio Square while waiting for the tram, it was late and there was a light projected onto the façades that slowly changed colour. It wasn’t a concert or videomapping event, it was just classical music and colour for a moment, amidst the chaos of time.
Lisbon is a city full of monumental substances, palaces, churches, shops, groups, banks, infrastructures, gardens, but its richness is largely hidden in the details, waiting to be discovered, meandered, photographed, exploring corners, nooks, and people in their local businesses. It is a city full of museums, knowledge, and culture, a nectar that always draws me back.
|Lisbon in Us by Bruno Vieira|
|Mini introduction||I was born in Torres Vedras in 1978 and lived and worked in Lisbon for 10 years. I am an architect and currently work in Torres Vedras, providing support for urban rehabilitation, valorisation, and preservation of cultural heritage.|
My interest in visual arts is reflected in various exhibitions and artistic residencies I have participated in. In terms of illustration, I would like to highlight my works featured in the Interpretation Centre of the Jewish Community of Torres Vedras and my collaboration with the publisher Vírgula de Interrogação in the book Camões.
I am also part of the administration of the Oeste Sketchers group, affiliated with Urban Sketchers Portugal, promoting the practice of on-site drawing.
Follow my work: Instagram, Blog e Portfolio Gráfico
|An inspiring place||The National Museum of Natural History and Science|
|An unmissable visit||Cais das Colunas at sunset|
|His mouth waters with…||Pastéis de nata (custard tarts) in the garden of the National Museum of Ancient Art|
|A song…||Márcia with JP Simões – A pele que há em mim|
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