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VTS Tower

Portuguese Tower of Pisa

It is an aesthetically innovative structure with its captivating lines, defying gravity with its inclination, eliciting applause from some and revulsion from others.

The VTS Tower seen from the Tagus

The Maritime Traffic Control Centre, VTS – Lisbon, manages navigation within the area of jurisdiction of the Administration of the Port of Lisbon – provides information and advises ships sailing in the Tagus estuary and approaching it – up to a radius of 16.5 nautical miles (approximately 27 km), centered on the VTS – Lisboa and having the Vasco da Gama Bridge as an upstream limit.

Thus, controllers, through surveillance cameras, radars, sensors, among other support equipment, receive data that allows them to monitor and control maritime movement. Additionally, they are also responsible for managing the wharves.

Flanked by the waters of the Tagus Estuary, the Porto de Lisboa VTS Tower is located in Algés, at the end of a pier in an artificial harbour. It is supported by 25 piles 1 meter in diameter and 20 meters long, sunk 2 meters into the basaltic bottom.

The VTS Tower, designed by the architect Gonçalo Byrne, it won the Conde de Oeiras municipal architecture prize. According to the jury, «a simple gesture, geometrically clear, with an original and careful treatment and detailing of the facade, a fact that gives it a remarkable uniqueness. The rigour and quality of the project are still visible in terms of detailing and finishing options».

It currently also accommodates the Dolphin observatory on the Tagus River.

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