This research and diagnostic centre, located in Lisbon, is a sate-of-the art facility guided by some of the best scientists in the world today. The site is a truly extraordinary sweep of land, just where the river joins the Atlantic Ocean - the point from which Henry the Navigator, Vasco de Gama and the other great Portuguese pioneers left on their journeys into the unknown.
The 3 units that constitute the project (the largest for the doctors and scientists, the second for the theatre, the exhibition hall, the Foundation offices, etc, and the third is an open-air amphitheatre for the city) have been arranged to create a 125m long pathway leading diagonally across the site, towards the open seas.
as This pathway is ramped up (at a gentle slope of 1:20) -so as you ascend, you see only sky ahead of you At the end of the ramp are two stone monoliths, straight from the quarry, as primordial as Stonehenge. When you reach the highest point, you begin to see a large body of water - which seemingly connects (i.e., without any visual break) to the ocean beyond. In the centre of this water body, just below the surface of the water, is an oval shaped object - made of stainless steel and slightly convex, so that it reflects the blue sky and passing clouds above. It could be anything - the back of a turtle, a tropical island, a treasure chest. It is the mythic adventure they went in search of, 500 years ago - and a perfect metaphor for contemporary Science's own journey into the unknown..