Museu do Fado
This project was an international open competition for a Fado museum on a given site in Lisbon, Portugal. Through our proposal - FaDoRe we wanted to redefine (re-fado) Fado music as a contemporary music genre while keeping its original aspects. In order to achieve this redefining, we base our process on a few other “re”: revitalize the image that Fado music has; reshape the way people get in contact with the Fado music; reimagine the whole Fado experience and rethink the importance of Fado music in the Portuguese society.
The rough image and the resemblance with a boat – a hint to the process in which the Fado music appeared; and using Corten panels to create the building envelope, we literally revitalize the material, giving it a new dimension. For the sculptural elements - we also propose that one should be cladded with recycled Ajulejos - creating a true memory pillar, the axis mundi of the Fado. Throughout our project we tried to expose as much as possible the spaces in which Fado music is created, developed, or enjoyed. We tried to keep the mysterious allure of the fado restaurants by creating the sunken courtyard, but at the same time we opened it for the public to use and easily come in contact at any time with Fado music.
The Fado experience is a very raw and "in the moment" type of emotion. If one has not experienced the emotions transmitted by the fadista, might not enjoy the music per se but other elements could be of more interest. That is why with the main exhibition halls we go again to the sea influence in the birth of Fado and try to recreate the fairy-like space of underwater. The perforations in the facade, following the Fado rhythm - from a very soft pace to a very strong and then again, a softer tempo - help to filter the light like the water does to the sunlight. Walking through the exhibition space should be a true sensorial experience - exactly like the Fado emotions. The building tries to freeze the music - we have the melancholic, soft, main volume - and then the accent elements that reach out violently through it – like how the human soul perceives the keen effect of saudade. But these elements are not only a disturbing element, but they also sustain the building, same as singing or listening to a Fado song soothes your longing for your loved ones, your youth or your homesick.
The Fado experience could become a point of interest for the society, culturally it recalls the history of the Portuguese people - their struggle and anguish. But it is appeal to the younger generations seem to fade, FaDoRe proposes a way to attract a wider range of people by opening the sunken courtyard and the roof top of the building to the public. Like this the place can become a true landmark for the city (the night image of a magic lightbox could easily act as a lighthouse) but most importantly for the Lisbon citizens, providing them with spaces not necessarily Fado related (restaurant, pop-up spaces, strolling and green areas).