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Dolce Vita Tejo, Lisbon, Portugal 
Friday 07 Jan 2011
 
Raising the roof 
 
Fernando Guerra 
 
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With one of the largest ETFE roof structures in the world, retail and leisure destination Dolce Vita Tejo positively impacts the local economy 

The largest shopping center on the Iberian Peninsula, Dolce Vita Tejo is a 120,000 sq m retail destination in Lisbon, Portugal comprised of retail, restaurants, a hypermarket and a grand central plaza crowned by one of the largest ETFE (Ethylene Tetra Fluoro Ethylene) roof structures in the world.

The development is the result of a shared vision by two companies, Chamartin Inmobiliaria and ING Real Estate. In a joint venture, the two companies commissioned RTKL to provide planning and architectural design services for the creation of a mixed-use urban center offering a vibrant community experience set within a retail environment.

RTKL’s concept focused on the development of an urban plaza to unify the various programme components around a central plaza lined with retail storefronts and restaurants that reinforce the design’s reference to urban streetscapes. Named after Tejo, the river flowing through the city of Lisbon, Dolce Vita Tejo occupies two sites separated by a public road. The design connects the two sites to create one retail destination that successfully blends the line between the traditional mall and the urban center.

Above ground level, the mall contains two levels of retail on one site, and one level of retail and two levels of leisure on the other. The two sites are connected by two first-floor bridges. The space below ground features a plaza for the community, offering landscaped areas including fountains, stages, kiosks and seating.

The mall is covered by a steel structure and enclosed with ETFE, a lightweight transparent material originally developed for the space industry in the 1930s. The Teflon-based material allows sunlight to pass through while keeping excess heat out. Its unique qualities include an ability to avoid degradation under ultra-violet light or pollution. Furthermore, ETFE films are one percent of the weight of glass, transmit more light, are self-cleaning and completely recyclable.

Innovative use of this material enabled the design team to create a light-filled environment with ideal atmospheric conditions. The ETFE roof structure is formed into a series of pneumatic cushions which are inflated with low-pressure air to provide high insulation values. Graphics are bonded to the external and inner ETFE skins that provide solar shading and reduce solar gain. Photovoltaic cells located on the ETFE roof cushions form 50% of the solar shading pattern and harness enough energy to operate the internal lighting system. Major tenants include a 22,000 sq m Auchan hypermarket, an 11-screen multiplex cinema, 16,000 sq m of office space, and Kidzania – a 6,500 sq m family-focused entertainment zone featuring a miniature replica of a city, with buildings, shops, theatres and real-world scenarios.

Other retail tenants, many of which are new to Portugal, include Primark, Starbucks, and El Corte Ingles. The innovative design establishes a platform for the regeneration of the surrounding area and attracts a strong tenant mix to meet the growing sophistication of the region’s consumers. The center, which is 99 percent leased, has been a boon to the local economy, generating more than 5,000 direct and 10,000 indirect jobs, while spurring entrepreneurial opportunities throughout the community. RTKL collaborated with Lisbon-based architect Promontorio, which led the implementation of the design.

RTKL designed the concept and schematic design phases in co-authorship with PROMONTORIO. PROMONTORIO was responsible for the construction phase and site supervision.

Also featured on WAN is PROMONTORIO's collaboration with MK27: L'AND Vineyards in Portugal. Click here to visit PROMONTORIO's website.

Technological

ETFE is a lightweight transparent material originally developed for the space industry in the 1930s. The innovative Teflon-based material allows sunlight to pass through while keeping excess heat out. Its unique qualities include an ability to avoid degradation under ultra-violet light or pollution. Furthermore, ETFE films are 1% of the weight of glass, transmit more light, are self-cleaning and completely recyclable. Innovative use of this material enabled the design team to create a light-filled environment with ideal atmospheric conditions. Dolce Vita Tejo’s ETFE roof structure forms 50% of the solar shading pattern and harnesses enough energy to operate the internal lighting system.

Economic

Dolce Vita Tejo attracts visitors from throughout Lisbon and the surrounding region to its dynamic mix of retail and leisure attractions. The development’s effectiveness is demonstrated through its impact on the local economy and community. Since its opening in 2009, it has generated more than 5,000 direct and 10,000 indirect jobs, while spurring entrepreneurial opportunities throughout the community.

Key Facts

Status Completed
Value 0(m€)
RTKL
www.rtkl.com

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