RR - On Saturday, May 1st, the former Sul e Sueste Station, in Terreiro do Paço, reopens to the public. Now dedicated to leisure., 12 April 2021

On Saturday, May 1st, the former Sul e Sueste Station, in Terreiro do Paço, reopens to the public. Now dedicated to leisure. It is the new River Cruise Terminal on the Tagus. The building was renovated and stripped of additional elements accumulated over decades. And he returned to the simplicity designed by Cottinelli Telmo by the hand of his granddaughter, the architect Ana Costa.

The South and Southeast Station, in Terreiro do Paço, was inaugurated on May 28, 1932, thus marking the celebration of the establishment of the Military Dictatorship.

The idea of ​​a station to connect Lisbon to Barreiro, from where trains to the South had departed since the mid-19th century, had been dragging on for decades. Between advances and setbacks and the installation of a wooden and iron shed – “temporary” for 80 years – until the construction of a cement and stone building, it took an eternity.

The traffic between the two banks was already too much for a small structure, with unsanitary problems, uncomfortable for users and without conditions for boats to dock. “An ignoble slum, which was a disgrace to Lisbon, both in national and foreign eyes”, he referred thirty years after the inauguration of the new station, Gazeta dos Caminhos de Ferro.

A family project

“I always say this is a family project. It started with Cottinell, continued with my father (the architect Daciano Costa) and me. We started with Interface, on the other side, and the rehabilitation of this space was the end of the party”, says Ana Costa. However, the father died in 2005 and no longer had the opportunity to develop the project. In the end, she had the opportunity, but in the beginning nobody knew that she was Cottinelli's granddaughter (on her mother's side) because she professionally uses only the name inherited from her father.

She assumes that she has fought many wars because it seemed ungrateful to her that after such a huge effort to rehabilitate the luggage room and having the Metro function fulfilled, no one else wanted to know about this historic building.

Therefore, she considers that it was lucky that the Lisbon City Council and Tourism decided to make it a destination for river cruises on the Tagus. “Basically, it's almost original, it's again a space for passage, but now, more for leisure”.

Still, those who think that the rehabilitated station is just for tourism, insists on denying it. “This is for all of us because we're all going to want to make the crossing, have lunch or take a walk next door; with the rehabilitation of the riverfront, suddenly, the relationship with the other side becomes stronger, this is a kind of jewel in the crown”.

Daciano da Costa ends up being present, too, through the armchairs he created and which are installed in the lobby, but with small notes. “This is a space for traveling, not for staying. The station is a great open door over the river”, says Ana Costa.

Text by Ana Carrilho

Please note, your browser is out of date.
For a good browsing experience we recommend using the latest version of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera or Internet Explorer.