Lisbon Triennale 2013,

Ewing, S. (Contributor)

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesPublic Engagement – Festival/Exhibition


Saltcities: Drawing the City of Unsure Ground, (Associated Project, Lisbon Triennale 2013)

The SaltCity Master of Architecture studio, led by architectural academic, Suzanne Ewing, works with the southwestern edges of Europe as an empirical anchor for exploration of contemporary questions of material, spatial, environmental and metropolitan fragilities and resiliences. ‘Cadiz: Field and Work (2006-2008) and ‘Marseille: Irrigations’ (2009-2011) uncovered distinctive topographical and morphological urban and sea/port conditions which were explored through city speculations: collective consolidations and detailed inquiries tested through architectural design propositions. The current studio, ‘Lisbon-Tagus: City of Unsure Ground’ (2012-2014), positions the ground of the city as geological, aqueous and atmospheric. The SaltCities: Drawing the City of Unsure ground exhibition includes work on Lisbon-Tagus: Composite Ground: "Constructing the ground of the Lisbon-Tagus metropolitan area as sites for studio speculations began with the construction of a series of City: Field maps. When these are overlaid, the layers reveal consolidations of morphologies as well as surprising adjacencies, juxtapositions, slippages, densities, and scarcities. The safe harbour and strategic rocky vantage points of the Tejo river estuary in this area are uncovered in the walled areas and protected ports of the Phoenician city, Roman city, Moorish city. The geological ground shows the solidity of the rocky ridges and the softer territories of the estuary rivulets. Rail networks brace and reinforce the estuary edge; road constellations remain land bound until the two significant bridges of the twentieth century (1964 and Vasco de Gama) include the southern side of the estuary as part of the Metropolitan Area. The shadows of flight paths mark the prevailing wind directions. This composite map drawing is not an aerial view of the city, a city portrait, or an exhaustive survey. The tissue-like traces and lines of boat crossings and built city streets are held in spatial and environmental relation to material ground, sea flows, and atmospheric occupation. Attention is drawn to distinctive and complex city thresholds - of sea, land and air - which raise questions of the limits, reach and dependencies of the contemporary city." 515 visitors to the exhibitions over 2 weeks in November 2013.
Period4 Nov 201317 Nov 2013
Event typeExhibition
LocationLisbon- Edinburgh, United Kingdom


  • architectural design
  • city
  • drawing practices