Skip to content

Gare do Oriente [Lisbon Oriente train station] model

CALATRAVA, Santiago (1951)




Lisbon Oriente train station, which opened on 18 May 1998, was one of the most iconic buildings to feature in the Lisbon World Exhibition (Expo ‘98). It signals the wave of urban renewal that brought forth the Parque das Nações and is the main public transport infrastructure that serves the city to this day.

It was designed by the architect Santiago Calatrava (Valencia, 1951), who started working on the project in 1993. He envisaged a multi-storey complex, each floor dedicated to a specific use, as befitting modern infrastructure that would link up different types of urban transport: railway and metro stations, suburban and long-distance road transport terminals, parking for passenger cars, and areas of shops and services.

The building is impressive for its imposing look, superb functionality and, most importantly, its unique combination of iron and glass – materials traditionally used in train stations. In this project, Calatrava achieved a ‘glass palm tree’ effect, using a repeated arrangement of components to form a transparent roof system measuring 78 by 260 metres. This transucent oasis-like feel is heightened by the night lighting, which accentuates the ribs of the arches and vaults.

2 Gare do Oriente Museu de Lisboa.jpg

© Museu de Lisboa