Staged Nature Project – Zoo of Zoos

“Staged Nature – Zoo of Zoos” offers an opportunity to reflect on the role of the zoos and zoological gardens on our contemporary cities.



“Staged Nature – Zoo of Zoos” offers an opportunity to reflect on the role of the zoos and zoological gardens on our contemporary cities, with a special focus on the Lisbon Zoo the oldest in the Iberian Peninsula, built in 1884 – at Parque de S. Sebastião where today are Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation headquarters – and later transferred to Quinta das Laranjeiras (1905), with the project of the Portuguese architect Raul Lino built between 1935 and 1972.


Jardim Zoológico de Lisboa : planta geral / Raul Lino, 1935-1972.
Lisbon Zoo: layout plant / Raul Lino, 1935-1972.


Through a continuous chronological parallelism between past-present-future – which will become the fil rouge that joins all the elements of the virtual exhibition – the idea is to understand how this specific typology evolved into the current century and to answer the main questions: Is there a reason to still have zoos in 2020? Which are the new components and necessities of staging the nature in an urban environment?

The chronological tool lays a fundamental role in creating a narrative which connects the past (the architect’s original project), the present (current tendencies and perspective of various key figures involved) and future (which are the possibilities of regeneration for tomorrow). During the entire expo, we will fluctuate continuously between these three spheres of time in order to offer different views on the same architectural space.

The project “Staged Nature – Zoos of Zoos”, a virtual exhibition by the curatorial team Enrico Porfido and Claudia Sani – país(vi)agem with Arian Lehner and Theresa Margraf – Mies.TV, aims to fulfill three main objectives through visual displaying:

  1. Past / Valorizing the architecture of Raul Lino with a selection of his drawings of the Lisbon zoo from the archive of Gulbenkian Art Library.
  2. Present / Understanding the status quo and diverse views of people related to the zoo with a series of targeted interviews, generating debate and thoughts.
  3. Future / Based on the interviews’ results, to draw future scenarios.

This is an initiative of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation as a member of the Future Architecture Platform, a project that is co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union. From Abril 1 to September 30.


The creatives chosen from the Open call 2020 are:


pais(vi)agem is an independent research group born from the idea of Enrico Porfido and Claudia Sani, which aims to investigate the relation between tourism and landscapes.

Pais(vi)agem © DR
paisVIagem Pais(vi)agem © DR

Architect and PhD in Architecture and Urban Planning of Ferrara University and Polis University, Tirana. He worked in PROAP, a landscape office in Lisbon. His research deals with tourism as coastline transforming phenomena and the role of protected areas in this process.

Architect and project manager in the office Urban Act (Paris), dealing with urban ecology and social district regeneration.




Mies.TV is a global network of young architecture enthusiasts which share their stories through videos – with teams in Austria, UK, France, Mexico, Germany, Netherlands, Slovakia. The interviews and documentaries are shared for free online as well as at cinema screenings around the world as social events in order to bring different people and views together.

Still de "Why Does Beauty Matter" © Mies.TV
MiesTV Still from "Why Does Beauty Matter" © Mies.TV
Still de "Why Does Beauty Matter" © Mies.TV
MiesTV_3 Still from "Why Does Beauty Matter" © Mies.TV
Still de "Why Does Beauty Matter" © Mies.TV
MiesTV_2 Still from "Why Does Beauty Matter" © Mies.TV

Architect formerly working at architecture practices MVRDV (in Rotterdam) and OMA (Hong Kong), and educated at the University of Applied Arts with Kazuyo Sejima from SANAA (in Vienna).  He is founder and director of 'Mies. TV'.

Architect and is member of Mies.TV.

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Updated on 01 october 2020

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