The Gulbenkian Park, formerly the Santa Gertrudes Park, was purchased from the Counts of Vilalva in 1957, and now covers approximately 7,5 hectares. This was the space where the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation built its head office and museum, later adding the José de Azeredo Perdigão Modern Art Centre. The project for the Park, interior gardens and terraces with gardens was drawn up by landscape architects Gonçalo Ribeiro Telles and António Viana Barreiro, who worked closely with Alberto Pessoa, Pedro Cid and Ruy Athouguia, the architects who designed the Foundation's complex of buildings.
Modifications had to be maid to the terrain as the project included creating a lake and an open-air amphitheatre, as well as installing slabs of concrete on the ground to allow easy movement around the park. The garden design involved the careful selection of trees, shrubs and flowers.
The open-air amphitheatre, with a seating capacity for around 1,000 people, is superbly set in the gardens in the park, using the landscape around the lake as its backdrop. During the day, many visitors turn it into a special place for resting, reading and meditation.
The amphitheatre also acts as the stage for dance, theatre and music, mainly in the summer.