Due to a fire in 1988, the Chiado district of Lisbon had many of its buildings damaged or partially destroyed by the flames, and an intense restoration and recovery project led by Álvaro Siza has been going on for over a decade.
Among the strategies employed by the Portuguese architect (and winner of the 1989 Pritzker Prize) is the reorganization of routes and walkways, creating elevated walkways to facilitate access to the area and the flow of locals and visitors. According to the Municipal Council of Lisbon, Siza has recently completed the connection between one of the courtyards of the Carmo Convent (Patio B) to the Largo do Carmo square and the Carmo Terraces with a pedestrian path.
According to city hall, “the project bridges the existing topographic gap between the platform of ‘Patio B’ and the south portal of the Carmo Convent, accentuating the spaces in an integrated manner, while showcasing the historic value of this site to create a recreational public space on the Carmo terraces as a natural extension of the pedestrian route.”
Because of its scale and the delicate nature of urban integration, the recovery plan has been gradually implemented and we can see how “it’s necessary to use modern urban planning as well as redo what existed before, promoting the revitalization of abandoned spaces in the heart of the city.”