Originally designed in the late 1800s by Jose Luis Monteiro, a leading architect of his time, Lisbon’s Rossio Station is a Portuguese landmark that had, over the years, been extensively remodeled, resulting in a poorly designed and serviced mainline railway station that had lost much of its historical charm and status.
|Restoring the building’s dignity was integral to our design approach for the completed scheme.|
|/Margarida Caldeira, Project architect Broadway Malyan|
Modifications made to Rossio Station over the years, were executed with little consideration for the overall harmony of the building, resulting in a dysfunctional structure.
The Rossio Station building’s original three floors, designed to direct travellers to key parts of Lisbon, were crudely converted to six, to accommodate a shopping center, in the late 1970s.
This broke up the fluid movement of travelers across the station and dissected the building’s sweeping windows and expansive arched doorways.
The Broadway Malyan architects proposed a dramatic solution – they removed the three additional floors and reinstated the Rossio Station building’s original layout and lofty, high-ceilinged design.
To reclaim lost footage mezzanines were carefully placed on each floor and sections of the building were designed for commercial office use only.
In keeping with the newly spacious interior, the Rossio Station’s core services and office mechanics are neatly routed beneath raised flooring.
As well as an efficient layout original details, such as Monteiro’s cast iron framed windows, are now viewed in an uncluttered setting.
White walls and wooden floors throughout create a clean, simple and modern space, while the choice of up-lighting enhances the simplicity and verticality of the Rossio Station’s expansive walls, and creates non-obtrusive lighting for a comfortable working environment.
During the restoration of the original structure of Rossio Station, the Broadway Malyan team unearthed an unexpected architectural gem: an ornate, cast iron and glass ceiling that had been hidden beneath a layer of plasterboard. Once unveiled and restored, the striking ceiling helped recreate a light and spacious room from which several areas of the building can be viewed. The use of glass between connecting rooms further increases the sense of fluid space and unity.
Glass was integral to the refurbishment, not just because it was fundamental to Monteiro’s original design, but also because it provides a visual link between the station area and newly designed office space. Specially engineered Cool-Lite glass, which has high tech acoustic and thermic properties, has been used by Broadway Malyan to regulate sound and temperature while helping to retain the original look and feel of the station’s exterior windows.
Broadway Malyan also worked to sensitively restore sections of the scheme that are rich in historical detail such as the King’s waiting room, where Portuguese royalty would wait in privacy for their trains. The room now incorporates original stonework, plaster and wood detail.
The Broadway Malyan team also attended to the Rossio Station building’s immediate surroundings. The old market square, adjacent to the Rossio Station, was being used by commuters as an unofficial and unsightly car park. The space has now been transformed into an elegant public plaza, with seating and shopping facilities, providing a positive space to greet visitors entering the city.
The facades of the buildings framing the new public plaza were also renovated to match the quality of Rossio Station’s refurbished exterior. To further integrate the station with surrounding architecture, local stone, Lioz, was sourced for use both within Rossio itself and to upgrade street paving bordering the building.
With the building’s interior space reconnected, original structure and design detail sensitively restored, and surrounding area rejuvenated, Rossio Station has been reinstated as the train station and landmark building it was originally designed to be.