In 2010 the Pastor of Santa Isabel’s Parish invited the studio Appleton & Domingos to participate in the rehabilitation of Santa Isabel’s Church, the architects then contacted the artist Michael Biberstein and requested that he consider painting the ceiling of the central aisle, presently covered with a plumb-gray paint, which he willingly accepted.
The first phase of this challenging project was its presentation at the Architecture Triennial.
A wooden architectural model was built on a 1:8 scale for the second phase and shown at Santa Isabel. Michael Biberstein painted on the model's ceiling a reduced study of the solution he proposed.
In spite of being only a part of the overall project, Michael Biberstein’s contribution would have the most impact in the church. Currently the large gray ceiling has an enormous presence on the central aisle’s space, especially during the day. At night, being dark and with the encased lights in the Dome, the ceiling practically disappears.
The scale of this project is exceptional. Santa Isabel’s central aisle is one of the largest in Lisbon. The quality and depth of Michael Biberstein’s work in this context is a perfect match and recalls the baroque and neoclassical large ceilings of Catholic churches. The change in the atmosphere of the interior space will also be exceptional, like opening a window to the sky where now a heavy curtain exists.