Carpintarias de São Lázaro – Cultural Center is the concretization of the use of the former Carpintarias de São Lázaro facilities, an industrial project from the 1920s, for the development, in the 21st century, of a contemporary cultural project that aims to bring an ambitious and avant-garde approach to the city of Lisbon.
The Cultural and Recreational Association of Carpintarias de São Lázaro, a private non-profit organization, was created in 2014. Its founders were behind the proposal submitted to the Lisbon City Council, which won the international public contest for the building concession as “an exclusive lease for the development of an integrated cultural project, open to public enjoyment”.
This concession was granted for 30 years, and the association, in addition to the lease, is fully responsible for carrying out the building adaptation works as well as the implementation and development of the Cultural Center. The project went through several phases in its beginning that determined the way in which the conditions were created for its implementation without distorting the vision or limiting the ambition with which the project had been conceived.
In 2017, preserving this commitment to the city, Carpintarias opened its doors to the public for the first time, presenting two visual arts exhibitions included in Lisbon 2017, Ibero-American Capital of Culture, in partnership with Lisbon City Council, which marked the cultural panorama of the City that year.
In 2018, the first phase of works to adapt the building to its new vocation was carried out, which allowed the Cultural Center to be put into service.
This definitive reopening took place in January 2019, and Carpintarias de São Lázaro has been confirming its position ever since, as a creative, innovative project, able to offer unprecedented programming in the city and country's panorama.
The next phases of project development are planned for the years 2021-2022 and they will enhance conditions for welcoming the public, as well as help to strengthen the Cultural Center's financial sustainability, trying to counteract in this way the tendency towards financial fragility that usually characterizes the so-called independently run projects and cultural spaces.