Dangerous Liaisons

architects Manuel Rocha de Aires Mateus & Francisco Xavier Rocha de Aires Mateus
project The Chancellor's Building, the New University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal, 1998-2002
written by Dubravka Kisić


The new Chancellor's Building of the Universidade Nova de Lisboa by architects Manuel Aires Mateus and Francisko Aires Mateus was constructed between 1998 and 2002 in Lisbon's Campolide area. It is located on a plateau above busy city roads in an area of office and residential towers. In terms of micro-location, it is a match for the old Jesuit school – an elongated four-storey building with a central projection and two side wings. The old and the new building create a public city square that is being extended to the school plateau and Monsanto Park.


The functions of the building required there be two kinds of room: a large number of fairly small individual offices and some larger rooms such as meeting rooms, atriums and auditoria. The architects placed the first group in a slender seven-storey box at the back, the second in the broad base. The box, in its above-ground part, is the same height as the neighbouring four-storey Jesuit School and its seven-storey height is being neutralized by a sort of ornamental façade.