Lisbon, the sunny city overshadowed by the current financial crisis, is reinventing itself with the emergence of a varied number of ‘start-up’ companies, creative projects, new and fresh businesses categorised by entrepreneur vigor. It still is an embryonic reality but creative minds and eager developers are designing the path.
One of the first and more compelling achievements in this business revitalization was the retrieval of an old factory located in the Alcântara neighborhood. Formerly a mill and printing-house, it now lodges several design, photography, marketing and architecture offices and a coworking space. It is an authentic incubating hub which allies labour with leisure, as it also is the home for trendy cafes, restaurants, and bookshops such as “Ler Devagar” (“Read Slow”) considered one of the 20 most beautiful bookstores of the world.
On Sundays, a street market (LX Market) is organized in the main street of the complex: artworks, craftworks, old memorabilia are at display for a morning stroll. It is a program much loved by young families, where many also enjoy the new “brunch” trend that is beginning to take roots in the Portuguese capital, and which have presence in LX Factory in “Café na Fábrica”, for example.
Once in a while the “Openday” is organized. All the LX Factory community open their doors until late night for all the curious lisboetas. Not only the office’s, shop’s and cafe’s schedules are extended, but a great variety of cultural, artistic and entertainment activities are offered. Music showcases, performances, readings and workshops take place from morning to night, in and outside doors.
In addition to all this activity, LX Factory is being elected as a privileged site for important urban interventions and great street art installations. Important names as Mário Belém and the anonymous collective ± maismenos ± made the walls of the nineteenth century factory one of their canvases.
With a familiar but innovative and modern atmosphere, this is a vibrant place which has still much to offer and to get. Whenever in Lisbon don´t miss this factory of ideas!
Photo credits: Miguel von Driburg
Written by Sandra Bettencourt
Sandra Bettencourt holds a research fellowship in project CILM – City and (In)security in Literature and the Media at the University of Lisbon. She holds a degree in Art Studies (specialization in Film Studies), as well as an MA in Literary and Cultural Studies. She obtained formation on Digital Journalism, at CENJOR (Center of Professional Formation for Journalism). She’s addicted to movies, passionate about literature, and music lover.
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