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Digital Subscriptions > Newsweek International > 7th October 2016 > IT’S BRILLIANT


A sparkling new museum in Lisbon proves its architect is a star
GOLDEN WONDER: The skin of the new Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology in Portugal is covered with tiles developed for the project by its British architect, Levete.

“IT’S THE light,” says Amanda Levete, “that incredible southern light.” Curled up barefoot on a sofa in her studio on a gray North London morning, the architect of the beautiful new Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (MAAT) in Lisbon, Portugal, seems about to burst into song.

Levete and her team at AL_A have done more than seen the light; they’ve captured it. The same southern sun that flamed along the River Tagus in the 16th century—when the spoils of its seafaring explorers allowed Portugal’s capital to build some of Europe’s most opulent architecture—now turns the undulating, low-lying structure of MAAT an impassioned gold. Sparkling off the Tagus and reflected from the building’s brows, the light dances across oors and ceilings, galleries and café, its patterns changing throughout the day. The museum opens its doors for the first time on October 5—it’s so new it has barely had time to draw breath. But already it feels as if it belongs to the river, as well as to the city.

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