Lisbon kiosks, Abril de 2012

Lisbon Kiosks

Text : Rafael Vieira

The portuguese word quiosque comes etymologically from the french Kiosque, that in turn borrowed it from the turkish Kosk. And so, also the derivation kiosk in english. It means pavilion and it's classically an octagonal prism with openings in all it's faces, erected in steel decorated with romantic and floral ornaments. It spread around the 19th Century, when it also hit the Lisbon cityscape, connected with romantic ideals and the see-and-be-seen strolls by the emerging bourgeoisie and also more practical reasons of serving the common populace. A rough count puts their numbers around 40 in the city of Lisbon, most of them that where recently extracted from a long process of decay in place since the 80ies and 90ies. Due to a furious desire for a Lisbon facelift and a constant urban renovation, the municipality recovered and concessioned – still in process – most of the quiosques in the city centre. Representing a gift to the city dwellers, as well as a catalyst to business and a new social dynamic, several examples emerge as representatives of this operation: the 3 Quiosque de Refresco recovered beverages from the past and the 5 in Liberdade Avenue and those in Estrela Garden present a regular and trendy cultural program.