The construction of a cultural centre of this size in Macao was a unique task and a singular undertaking, long-awaited by the people of Macao, particularly since the Camões Museum was closed and no alternative facilities were provided. Its importance, whether political and cultural, or both, must inevitably have an effect on the image, the urban surroundings, the quality of the architecture and of the materials, and on the functionality of the building. It is an image to be exported.
Increasingly, throughout the world, cities invest in their temples of culture, be they libraries, opera houses, theatres, parks, etc., as symbols of economic and cultural development that also serve the requirements of tourism and of the local people, and, in some cases, they come to be the very symbol of the city (Sydney, Paris, etc.). Macao is special in that two distinct cultures have lived together in time and space, each with its own dynamics. The Centre is intended to reflect this dichotomy of cultures, a sort of tension or secular commitment under which local society has lived together and evolved with no great convulsions.