LISBON CÂMARA said last week that its ambitious plans to redevelop and restore Lisbon’s rundown theatre land, Parque Mayer, to its former glory will go ahead, with or without Canadian architect, Frank Gehry.
The initial plans for the Avenida da Liberdade prime real estate site have been altered and scaled down by the city council, and the alterations have been sent to the world-famous architect for consideration.
However, in a statement last week, Lisbon Mayor, Carmona Rodrigues, said that if the architect decided to pull out of the project in the event of contesting alterations to the scale of the plans, there were plenty of other architects the câmara could contract for the project.
The Council’s Urban Development and Planning Officer, Cllr. Mrs. Gabriela Seara, also announced that the Capitólio Theatre is also to be done up and will remain an integral part of the Parque Mayer complex.
The municipal authority guaranteed that there were now no plans to begin ‘delisting’ or declassifying the building, which had originally been slated by the previous city administration in line with Frank Gehry’s designs.
The municipal authority also said it was working closely together with the Portuguese Architectural Heritage Institute (IPPAR) to see how the theatre can be restored and modernised without damaging its historic façade.
However, it is highly likely that other vaudeville style variety theatres, such as the Maria Vitória and Variety theatres, could be demolished.
Lisbon city council is planning to restore and modernise the abandoned site with nightclubs, restaurants, cafés, shops, market spaces, theatres, cinemas and other diversions, turning it into Lisbon’s very own Covent Garden with a walkway link to the nearby Botanical Gardens.