The RTKL-designed La Dolce Vita Tejo, a 120,000-SM retail centre in Lisbon, Portugal, officially opened its doors earlier this month as shoppers flooded the centre to enjoy its range of tenants and leisure attractions. Comprising retail, restaurants, leisure, a hypermarket and various other features, La Dolce Vita Tejo is the largest shopping centre on the Iberian Peninsula and is expected to draw patrons from throughout Lisbon and the surrounding region.The development is the result of a shared vision by two companies, Chamartin Inmobiliaria and ING Real Estate. In a joint venture, the two companies commissioned RTKL to provide planning and architectural design services for the creation of a mixed-use urban centre.“Our goal was to blur the line between the traditional mall and urban centre,” remarked RTKL director Jorge Berioz RIBA, the scheme’s designer. “Our design for La Dolce Vita Tejo establishes a product for the regeneration of the surrounding area and provides a project with a strong tenant mix that reflects the lifestyles of today’s demanding consumers.”RTKL’s scheme focuses on the development of an urban plaza to unify the various program components. This central plaza is covered by one of the largest ETFE (Ethylene Tetra Flouro Ethylene) roof structures in the world. ETFE is a lightweight transparent, Teflon-based material that allows sunlight to pass through while keeping excess heat out. Innovative use of this material enabled the design team to create a light-filled environment with ideal atmospheric conditions. Retail storefronts and restaurants open onto the plaza and reinforce the design’s reference to urban streetscapes.Major tenants include a 22,000-SM Auchan hypermarket; an 11-screen multiplex cinema; 16,000 SM of office space; and Kidzania – a 6,500-SM family-focused entertainment zone featuring a child-sized replica of a city, with buildings, shops, theatres and real-world scenarios that aim to educate and entertain children on the experiences of adult life. Other retail tenants, many of which are new to Portugal, include Primark, Starbucks, and El Corte Ingles.RTKL collaborated with Lisbon-based architect Promontorio, who lead the implementation of the design.The centre, which is 99% leased, has been a boon to the local economy, generating more than 5,000 direct and 10,000 indirect jobs, and has spurred entrepreneurship opportunities throughout the community.Since the opening of the RTKL-designed Centro Oberhausen in the mid-1990’s, the practice has planned and designed some of Europe’s most successful retail centres, including Centro Columbo in Lisbon; Berceo Retail Centre in Logrono, Spain; The O2 in London; and Palladium in Prague.RTKL is a worldwide architecture, engineering, planning and creative services organization. Part of the ARCADIS global network since 2007, RTKL specializes in providing its multi-disciplinary services across the full development cycle to create places of distinction and designs of lasting value. RTKL works with commercial, workplace, public and healthcare clients on projects around the globe.