• Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown
Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown
A State-of-the-art Medical, Scientific and Technological Centre
Fundação Champalimaud

From Portugal

To The World

On October 5, 2010, the Champalimaud Foundation inaugurated the Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown, a hub for multidisciplinary and translational research in biomedicine, which contributed to placing Portugal at the forefront of world science.

The Architect

Charles Correa

Genus loci

Charles Correa, the architect in charge of the Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown, believed that buildings must seek to express the true essence and culture of the places where they are located, always having in mind the building’s ultimate purpose in order to create the perfect symbiosis between function and form. More than an architect, he was a thinker of urban space.

Charles Correa, who had a strong link to Goa and Portugal, was the author of important and iconic architectural works, such as the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial at the Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad, the Jawahar Kala Kendra in Jaipur, the Kanchanjunga apartment tower in Mumbai, and the new city "Navi Mumbai", of which he was the chief-architect.

But his work is not only recognised in his home country. Apart from the innumerable international prizes he won – among which we can highlight the “Sir Robert Matthew Prize" of the International Union of Architects(IUA), the "Chicago Architecture Award" of the American Institute of Architecture, and the "Aga Khan Award for Architecture" he received from the hands of His Royal Highness King D. Carlos of Spain – his work has made a striking impact on the ground, especially in the USA, due to his ample experience in the creation of buildings for scientific purposes, an example of which is MIT's Brain and Cognitive Sciences Centre in Boston.

Of the construction of the Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown, he said: “When I relive the whole experience, I am very surprised (and grateful)...”


This project uses the highest standards of contemporary science and medicine to help people deal with real problems. And to house those cutting-edge activities, we tried to create a piece of architecture. Architecture as sculpture. Architecture as beauty. Beauty as therapy.

Charles Correa, Architect of the Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown

A Journey to the Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown

The Unique Vision of the Architect

Into the Unknown

Into the Unknown

The documentary “Into the Unknown”, directed by Sankalp Meshram and dedicated to the work of the architect Charles Correa, opens the doors of the Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown to give us a unique view of the architecture of a building that has already become a landmark of the city of Lisbon.

The Complex

Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown

Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown

On October 5, 2008, the first stone of the Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown was laid, thus initiating a new phase in the life of the Champalimaud Foundation.

Designed by the architect Charles Correa, it gave back to the public an important area on the riverside neighbourhood of Pedrouços, next to Belém.

At the site where the Tagus river meets the Atlantic Ocean, which was the departure point of the great Portuguese navigators, the Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown seeks to celebrate not only the memory of the place, but also an outstanding moment in the recent history of our country.

Here lies a unique environment for the development of the most advanced multidisciplinary and translational scientific research in the field of biomedicine. The contemporary architecture of the building combines aesthetics with functionality, offering all the conditions needed for researchers, academics and health professionals from around the world to develop work focused on excellence and practical results.

Facing the River Tagus, the Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown occupies a surface of 60,000 square meters and comprises three large areas. A main building accommodates the diagnostic and treatment facilities of the Champalimaud Clinical Centre, with its outdoor garden, research laboratories and administrative services all interlinked in order to promote conviviality and collaboration among scientists, clinicians and other professionals. The tropical garden, covered by a pergola, emerges as the central piece of this building.

The Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown is a hub of excellence for multidisciplinary and translational research in the field of biomedicine.


The research labs of the Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown are located on the upper floors of the main building and are organised around the tropical indoor garden. The most recent research technology and equipment are put at the service of national and international researchers who, in the spirit of collaboration and knowledge sharing, share an ample space with conditions for the research that is developed in the fields of neuroscience and oncology.

Clinical Centre

Operating since the end of 2011, and today primarily dedicated to the provision of specialised oncological care, the Champalimaud Clinical Centre is located in the main building of the Champalimaud Research Centre, occupying a large part of the lower floors.

With the comfort and well-being of patients and accompanying persons in mind, spacious reception areas were created, overlooking the indoor tropical garden, and promoting a peaceful environment.

The modern diagnostic, examination and treatment rooms are created to provide an efficient service, supported by the best human and technical resources. An outdoor garden was also created, exclusive for users of the clinic, which was especially designed to convey a sense of serenity, peace and well-being to our patients.

Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown
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