In Portogallo il museo che trasforma i visitatori in un flusso d’acqua

In Portugal, the museum which transforms its visitors into a stream of water

The permanent exhibition was put together from within the Grupo Agua de Portugal and is an educational and scientific space

LISBON – A space for exploring water; a key element in the history and heritage of society. In Lisbon, at the headquarters of the national water company, a “water museum” has been created, presented with an actual design studio and constructed to look like a watercourse, welcoming visitors and incorporating them into its journey. This is a space which is almost a hundred years old; founded in 1919 and modernised using the most innovative design techniques to reiterate the message of water as a resource which unites past, present and future.

The museum

The idea was developed by a group of Portuguese designers from Studio P-06, who have interpreted the space as an interactive exhibition, capable of making the visitors themselves part of the exhibition. Based on the fact that flowing through time, water can carry along with it memories, visions and stories, the designers have imagined the visitors within this flow and organised the exhibition around them. The illumination of the exhibition space depends on lights above the mirrored ceiling and small lights on the floor provide a soft glow which help the visitor quickly adapt to the space. The museum targets young people, with whom the organisers intend to communicate via visual displays and touchscreens, stimulating interaction on everything which represents water for the wellbeing of the individual, the environment and the sustainable future of the world.

The Lisbon Water Company

As mentioned above, the first attempt to create a museum in these spaces dates back to 1919, through an official resolution of the General Assembly of the Water Company in Lisbon. The planning for an archive, library and exhibition space was launched and at the end of the 30s, various documents and contributions were already being collected. Continuous modernisation and updating then led to the establishment of a permanent exhibition in 1987, showing the evolution of water resources in Lisbon from Roman times to the present day. The museum section today offers substantial educational spaces organised into seven thematic areas, ranging from the natural sciences and the urban water cycle, through to the new technology and a level of sustainability which will guarantee a sustainable future for water.