Lisbon Calling

Holland Herald, the KLM inflight magazine, recently did a fantastic feature on Lisbon…. here is an excerpt of the article. (For those visiting Lisbon for EXD’09, visit for information)

‘The city’s architecture combines a mish-mash of influences ranging from Moorish Manueline to baroque and art nouveau. “Lisbon is totally irregular,” says Guta Moura Guedes, chair of ExperimentaDesign, the international architecture and design biennale held in Lisbon. “The city is a mixture of different layers: she’s charismatic and charming, there’s an atmosphere of pleasure here combined with a certain idea of fun, a strong connection to the past and a huge amount of creative energy. Each edition of ExperimentaDesign changes locations to feature different places in Lisbon and we’re still discovering incredible new places, hidden places or monastries.”

Part of Lisbon’s charm is the feeling of having stepped back in time; old ladies sit chatting, tavern owners write up the menu of the day and the cobblestoned roads and paths keep the pace slow.”It feels like time stopped a little in Lisbon,” says historian Joao Pimental. Guta Moura Guedes echoes this sentiment. “A friend of mine recently visited and said he felt like he’d stepped back 30 years. Lisbon grows slowly, so you feel like you’re in a bit of a sleepy city, which is actually really beautiful.” However, sitting by the riverside in the boutique hotel the Altis Belem, it feels very much like 2009.’

Words: Jeanne Tan for the Holland Herald