Beautiful bridge lighting for MAAT Museum, Lisbon

The challenge

The Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (MAAT) was designed by the prestigious British architecture firm Amanda Levete. In a bid to keep views of the river unobstructed, and to create a new cultural space for locals, most of the building rests below the surface. Only the gleaming white stone roof, which also functions as a public park, is visible.

The bold structure built along the banks of the Tagus River, both physically and visually links to the Ajuda area of Lisbon via an impressive statement footbridge. The sweeping bridge spans eight lanes of traffic, comprising The Avenue da India / Avenue Brasilia and a railway line which separates the two main roads.

Architects stated that the appearance of the bridge from the road and railway line was equally important to the lighting across the bridge itself. The aim was to create a sweeping curve of light. To meet this vision, they specified a continuous handrail lighting system to provide a uniform wash of light across balustrade.

Clients and partners

  • Client


Key project requirements

  • Continuous uniform light in sweeping curves to mirror the geometry of the bridge.
  • A well-tested integrated lighting solution without the obstruction of columns.



The solution

By choosing an illuminated handrail the clean curved lines of the bridge are maintained without the obstruction of columns.

Working closely with AL_A architects, AFA Consult and our Portuguese agent Lighting Factory we delivered 192 x 900mm Garda Asymmetric 3000K modules, in a Stainless Steel grade 316, 240 grit finish. The modules were installed along both sides of the pedestrian bridge, fitted to the balustrade with specially supplied brackets.

David Anstee, Garda Technical Manager DW Windsor, explains,

We supplied the handrails as a kit with 26 set pieces for each side. All made to exact and varying dimensions to suit the precise geometry of the bridge. These were created using a 3D Tekla model of the bridge and were then installed by a local contractor. Because the bridge is so long our solution needed to be flexible enough to withstand the expansions and contractions which are associated to changes in temperature.


The handrails were provided in approximately 5.6m lengths and were mechanically jointed with expansion joints over every fourth bracket. As well as creating a lasting impression visually, Garda delivers over 240lux on the bridge deck, with 0.68 uniformity, providing safe and functional lighting for both the pedestrians and skateboarders who frequent the area.

The finished effect is a stunning, sweeping curve of uniform LED light, mirroring the design of the footbridge and echoing the swoosh of the MAAT’s architecture.

Featured product

Projects featuring Garda