A Past We Are Still Experiencing

architects Gonçalo Byrne Arquitectos, Barbas Lopez Arquitectos
project Thalia Theatre, Lisbon, Portugal
written by Diogo Seixas Lopes


There are many ways to introduce the architectural work of Gonçalo Byrne. Spanning over four decades, his oeuvre responds to a wide variety of programs and contexts. Throughout, it consistently displayed a cultivated cosmopolitanism that is attentive to several instances. Yet, such penchant for diversity can also be a form of coherence. Two attributes, in particular, seem to summarize this. Byrne and his output are at once diplomatic and dialectic. Both traits imply skills to counterbalance different, often opposing, standpoints in order to obtain a mediated balance between them. Architecture is the result of complex negotiations comprising multiple agents that meet at a point of common interest.