Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Parque Metro Station

When it comes to transport in Lisbon the city's little yellow trams, still in use since the 1930s, get all the glory. And justifiably so - they're about as adorable as public transport comes. But for this post on transport infrastructure in Lisbon I thought I'd take a look at a small but striking Metro station near Avenida da Liberdade, the city's main boulevard: Parque.

So named because it's the station closest to Parque Eduardo VII, Parque Metro Station was built as part of the first phase of Lisbon's Metro system in 1959, though it's best-known feature didn't come until 1994. That year the station was refurbished and two artists - Fran├žoise Schein and Federica Matta - created a large tiled mural for the stations two platforms representing the Portuguese Discoveries of the 15th and 16th centuries. But that's not what I wanted to talk about, either. Though the mural is impressive, it's the building itself and its original tiling (kept intact as you enter the station and take the escalator underground) that really gives Parque its charm. Designed in the 1950s by architect of Parque Eduardo VII itself Francisco Keil do Amaral, Parque takes a simple, clean form, using repeating curves to construct the roof. The curves of the roof are met with semi-circular windows that flood the entranceway with light. And the more light in there, the better: the tiles in Parque, designed by the architect's wife Maria Keil, are some of my favourites in the city. Combine triangles and a great colour combination and you'll make me very happy indeed :)