Inside Lisbon’s new garage

Inside Lisbon's Coach Museum.

Inside Lisbon’s Coach Museum.

Sebastião Durão has sent me two photos from inside the new Coach Museum in Lisbon. He adds: “You should illustrate your post with some pictures of the inside of the new garage, sorry, museum. Isn’t it lovely?”

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His point and its sarcasm are more than just. Among the hundreds of comments my original post on this subject received are some that defend the new museum because the old museum was in need of repair and expansion. Perhaps they are right, but as I said in a general reply to such comments, how does that excuse spending so many millions on something so ugly and so threatening to the beauty of Lisbon? Its architect, Paulo Mendes da Rocha, has achieved celebrity there by bringing a tainted prize – the Pritzker – to Portugal. But are there no Portuguese architects who can produce beautiful buildings that respect the country’s cultural traditions? Modern architecture puts the greatness of Portugal at risk – as it does to the culture of every nation where it is permitted. And, alas, that is, I am afraid, all nations. (My original post: “Lisbon’s coach catastrophe.”)

About David Brussat

For a living, I edit the writing of some of the nation's leading architects, urbanists and design theorists. This blog was begun in 2009 as a feature of the Providence Journal, where I was on the editorial board and wrote a weekly column of architecture criticism for three decades. Architecture Here and There fights the style wars for classical architecture and against modern architecture, no holds barred. My freelance writing and editing on that topic and others addresses issues of design and culture locally and globally. I am a fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts, and a member of the board of the New England chapter of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art, which bestowed an Arthur Ross Award on me in 2002. I work from Providence, R.I., where I live with my wife Victoria, my son Billy and our cat Gato. If you would like to invest your prose with even more style and clarity, please email me at my consultancy, dbrussat@gmail.com, or call 401.351.0457. Testimonial: "Your work is so wonderful - you now enter my mind and write what I would have written." - Nikos Salingaros, mathematician at the University of Texas, architectural theorist and author of many books.
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