Vasco da Gama Tower
The panoramic tower was conceived as an emblematic land mark of 'Expo 98', being based on the celebration of the 500 years since the discovery of the maritime route to India by Vasco da Gama. The silhouette represents the metaphor of the sail which relates the secular tradition of the Portuguese as a people connected to the sea. Symbolically the "prow of the ship" on the banks of the Tagus, headed east. The way the building is positioned in space expresses the moment of the discovery of the world, emphasized by the mast and respective "crow's nest" which represents the volume of the restaurant and the platform from which the Atlantic Ocean can be sighted beyond a large part of the city of Lisbon's metropolitan area. Both the observation deck and the restaurant were closed in 2001. The owner of the tower, state-owned Parque Expo, has received permission for a plan by Portuguese architect Nuno Leónidas to expand to a 21-storey building, on the riverside, for a luxury hotel.