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Interview with Álvaro Siza: “Beauty Is the Peak of Functionality!”

09:30 - 11 January, 2017
Interview  with Álvaro Siza: “Beauty Is the Peak of Functionality!”, Fundação Iberê Camargo. Image © Fernando Guerra | FG + SG
Fundação Iberê Camargo. Image © Fernando Guerra | FG + SG

Throughout the 60-year career of Álvaro Siza, his work has continuously defied categorization--having variously been described as “critical regionalism” and “poetic modernism,” with neither quite capturing the true essence of Siza's intuitive architecture. In this interview, the latest in Vladimir Belogolovsky's “City of Ideas” series, Siza discusses those attempts to categorize his work, his design approach and the role of beauty in his designs.

Vladimir Belogolovsky: Your student, Eduardo Souto de Moura said, “Siza’s houses are just like cats sleeping in the sun.”

Álvaro Siza: [Laughs.] Yes, he meant that my buildings assume the most natural postures on the site. There is also a reference in that to the human body.

Auditorium Theatre of Llinars del Valles . Image © Fernando Guerra | FG + SG Fire Station in Santo Tirso. Image © Joao Morgado - Architecture Photography The Building on the Water / Álvaro Siza + Carlos Castanheira. Image © Fernando Guerra | FG + SG Boa Nova Tea House. Image © Samuel Ludwig +33

Andalucía Rejects Construction of Alvaro Siza's New Gate of Alhambra Project

06:00 - 9 January, 2017
Andalucía Rejects Construction of Alvaro Siza's New Gate of Alhambra Project, New gate, by Alvaro Siza and Juan Domingo Santos. Image ©  Alvaro Siza Vieira + Juan Domingo Santos; Rendering by LT Studios
New gate, by Alvaro Siza and Juan Domingo Santos. Image © Alvaro Siza Vieira + Juan Domingo Santos; Rendering by LT Studios

The Regional Government of Andalucía (Spain) has decided not to move forward with plans to build "Puerta Nueva," the project for the new gate of Alhambra. Designed by Álvaro Siza and Juan Domingo Santos, the proposal won an international competition held in 2010. According to the newspaper El País, the decision follows the latest Icomos report, which rejects its construction and suggests it would have a "negative impact on the exceptional universal value of this monument World Heritage." 

The 1992 Pritzker Prize winner's project sparked a long-running dispute between the Monument Patronage, the Mayor's Office of Granada and cultural institutions of Andalusia for the high concentration of commercial services that would be included in the project. "How is it possible to argue that the project is not integrated and is invasive in the landscape when the jury noted that one of its main virtues was its integration in a place so sensitive and intervened since the twentieth century?" remarked Siza and Santos on the decision of Andalucía, according to El País.

14 Short Stories About Architects, Attitudes and Odd Architectural Anecdotes

07:00 - 27 December, 2016
14 Short Stories About Architects, Attitudes and Odd Architectural Anecdotes, Álvaro Siza photographed by Fernando Guerra. Image © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG
Álvaro Siza photographed by Fernando Guerra. Image © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG

A new collection of five minute-long On Design stories—developed by the team behind Section DMonocle 24's 24's weekly review of design, architecture and craft—profile a person, survey a place, or unpack an idea that’s changing or shaping design and architecture today. We've selected fourteen of our favorites from the ongoing series, examining issues as wide as Postmodernism and the architectural competition, to five-minute profiles of Alvaro Siza, Josef Hoffman, Kengo Kuma and Superstudio.

121 Definitions of Architecture

09:30 - 17 October, 2016
121 Definitions of Architecture

There are at least as many definitions of architecture as there are architects or people who comment on the practice of it. While some embrace it as art, others defend architecture’s seminal social responsibility as its most definitive attribute. To begin a sentence with “Architecture is” is a bold step into treacherous territory. And yet, many of us have uttered — or at least thought— “Architecture is…” while we’ve toiled away on an important project, or reflected on why we’ve chosen this professional path.

Most days, architecture is a tough practice; on others, it is wonderfully satisfying. Perhaps, though, most importantly, architecture is accommodating and inherently open to possibility.

This collection of statements illustrates the changing breadth of architecture’s significance; we may define it differently when talking among peers, or adjust our statements for outsiders.

Nadir Afonso Contemporary Art Museum by Álvaro Siza Opened its Doors in Chaves, Portugal

12:00 - 9 July, 2016

© Fernando Guerra | FG+SG © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG +112

Last month another building by Álvaro Siza Vieira, the Nadir Afonso Contemporary Art Museum in Chaves, Portugal commemorated its inauguration. To celebrate its opening, Fernando Guerra, from Últimas reportagens shared with us an amazing series of photographs.

See all the photos and learn more about the museum below.

Round-Up: The Serpentine Pavilion Through the Years

10:30 - 28 June, 2016
Round-Up: The Serpentine Pavilion Through the Years

Lasting for close to two decades now, the annual Serpentine Gallery Pavilion Exhibition has become one of the most anticipated architectural events in London and for the global architecture community. With this year’s edition featuring not just one pavilion but four additional “summer houses,” the program shows no sign of slowing down. Each of the previous sixteen pavilions have been thought-provoking, leaving an indelible mark and strong message to the architectural community. And even though each of the past pavilions are removed from the site after their short summer stints to occupy far-flung private estates, they continue to be shared through photographs, and in architectural lectures. With the launch of the 16th Pavilion this month, we take a look back at all the previous pavilions and their significance to the architecturally-minded public. 

Serpentine Pavilion 2013. Image © Neil MacWilliams Serpentine Pavilion 2000. Image © Hélène Binet Serpentine Pavilion 2006. Image © John Offenbach Serpentine Pavilion 2015. Image © © Iwan Baan +34

Auditorium Theatre of Llinars del Valles Through the Lens of Fernando Guerra

18:00 - 25 June, 2016

© Fernando Guerra | FG+SG © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG +184

In honor of Álvaro Siza Vieira's birthday, photographer Fernando Guerra has shared photos of the Auditorium Theatre of Llinars del Valles project in Spain.

Through 181 images, Guerra shows us Siza's masterful play of light and shadow. The photos allow us to experience a full day at the museum: the morning sun, followed by sunset and finally, the museum illuminated at night. 

Below, see the gallery and learn more.

Portraits of Álvaro Siza by Fernando Guerra

12:00 - 25 June, 2016
Portraits of Álvaro Siza by Fernando Guerra, © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG
© Fernando Guerra | FG+SG

Today, one of the most recognized and respected architects in the world turns 83: Álvaro Siza Vieira. Awarded the Pritzker Prize in 1992, the Portuguese architect charmed the jury at the time, who explained their choice by saying: “his forms, shaped by light, appear deceptively simple, they are honest.”

© Fernando Guerra | FG+SG © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG +20

Spotlight: Álvaro Siza

08:00 - 25 June, 2016
Spotlight: Álvaro Siza, The Building on the Water. Image © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG
The Building on the Water. Image © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG

One of the most highly regarded architects of his generation, Portugese architect Álvaro Siza (born 25 June 1933) is known for his sculptural works that have been described as "poetic modernism." When he was awarded the Pritzker Prize in 1992, Siza was credited as being a successor of early modernists: the jury citation describes how "his shapes, molded by light, have a deceptive simplicity about them; they are honest."

Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art Presents “Raw Material: A View of the Archive of Álvaro Siza”

16:00 - 19 June, 2016
Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art Presents “Raw Material: A View of the Archive of Álvaro Siza”, Álvaro Siza,  Serralves Museum, Porto, 1991-1999. First sketches for the projetc, [1991]  29,7 x 42,0 cm. [ASV/FS 25]
Álvaro Siza, Serralves Museum, Porto, 1991-1999. First sketches for the projetc, [1991] 29,7 x 42,0 cm. [ASV/FS 25]

Description from The Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art: The first of a developing programme at the Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art of exhibitions talks and events dedicated to contemporary architecture, ‘Raw Material’ presents plans, sketches, correspondence and photographs that offer a fuller understanding of the process of architectural design, beyond the self-sufficiency of the realized project. This will be the first exhibition to draw upon the recent gift to the Fundação de Serralves of 40 projects from the archive of Álvaro Siza as part of a collaboration between Fundação de Serralves, the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal and Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian in Lisbon.

Álvaro Siza’s practice is distinguished by his use of drawing as a working instrument in the prefiguration of forms and spaces within the process that brings him successively closer to the desired result. But an archive is more than just a set of drawings. The architect’s correspondence with his clients, the photographic record of the places where the works are to be built, relations with regulatory authorities and the opinions of the multiple actors involved in the construction processes, the models that support the perception of the proposals, the minutes of meetings and reports of the tensions arising at the building sites are documents that record an infinite number of episodes that remain invisible in the finished work. Offering insight into their contingent processes, the exhibition also offers invaluable understanding of the processes associated with the inventory, classification, and conservation of Siza’s archive, which will serve as a focus for future research and discussion about the role of architecture in contemporary society.  

NEIGHBOURHOOD: Where Alvaro Meets Aldo / Inside Portugal's Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale

09:30 - 18 June, 2016
NEIGHBOURHOOD: Where Alvaro Meets Aldo / Inside Portugal's Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale, NEIGHBOURHOOD: Where Alvaro meets Aldo / Curators Nuno Grande and Roberto Cremascoli. Portuguese Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale. Images © Laurian Ghinitoiu.
NEIGHBOURHOOD: Where Alvaro meets Aldo / Curators Nuno Grande and Roberto Cremascoli. Portuguese Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale. Images © Laurian Ghinitoiu.

As part of ArchDaily's coverage of the 2016 Venice Biennale, we are presenting a series of articles written by the curators of the exhibitions and installations on show.

As a response to the 15th International Architecture Exhibition’s challenging theme, Portugal presents a “site-specific” pavilion, occupying an urban front in physical and social regeneration on the island of Giudecca: Campo di Marte. In actual fact, the installation of the pavilion on-site triggered the completion of Campo di Marte’s urban project designed by the Portuguese architect Álvaro Siza thirty years ago. 

NEIGHBOURHOOD: Where Alvaro meets Aldo / Curators Nuno Grande and Roberto Cremascoli. Portuguese Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale. Images © Laurian Ghinitoiu. NEIGHBOURHOOD: Where Alvaro meets Aldo / Curators Nuno Grande and Roberto Cremascoli. Portuguese Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale. Images © Laurian Ghinitoiu. NEIGHBOURHOOD: Where Alvaro meets Aldo / Curators Nuno Grande and Roberto Cremascoli. Portuguese Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale. Images © Laurian Ghinitoiu. NEIGHBOURHOOD: Where Alvaro meets Aldo / Curators Nuno Grande and Roberto Cremascoli. Portuguese Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale. Images © Laurian Ghinitoiu. +16

12 Things You Need to See at the 2016 Venice Biennale

04:00 - 6 June, 2016
"Reporting From the Front". Image © Italo Rondinella
"Reporting From the Front". Image © Italo Rondinella

There is an enormous intensity of information, knowledge and ideas on display at this year's Venice Architecture Biennale, Reporting From the Front. With all the Executive Editors and Editors-in-Chief of ArchDaily's platforms in English, Spanish and (Brazilian) Portuguese in Venice for the opening of the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale—plus co-founder David Basulto and European Editor-at-Large James Taylor-Foster, who curated this year's Nordic Pavilion—we've pooled together twelve of our initial favourite exhibitions and must-see shows.

Obelisks by Álvaro Siza and Alison and Peter Smithson Re-Erected in Rural England

06:30 - 3 May, 2016
Obelisks by Álvaro Siza and Alison and Peter Smithson Re-Erected in Rural England, 'Obelisk' / Alison and Peter Smithson. Image © James Morris
'Obelisk' / Alison and Peter Smithson. Image © James Morris

Two sculptures—Obelisk by Alison and Peter Smithson and Columns by Álvaro Siza Vieira—have been re-erected in Shatwell, a "semi-derelict agricultural complex" located in rural England. The instatement of the monuments form a part of an evolving programme of installations which Drawing Matter, an organisation founded by Niall Hobhouse "that champions the process of architecture through collecting, archiving and commissioning," will use to explore the relationship between architecture, sculpture and landscape.

Álvaro Siza Restores the Carmo Convent Area in Lisbon

12:00 - 20 March, 2016
Álvaro Siza Restores the Carmo Convent Area in Lisbon, via Câmara Municipal de Lisboa
via Câmara Municipal de Lisboa

Due to a fire in 1988, the Chiado district of Lisbon had many of its buildings damaged or partially destroyed by the flames, and an intense restoration and recovery project led by Álvaro Siza has been going on for over a decade.

Among the strategies employed by the Portuguese architect (and winner of the 1989 Pritzker Prize) is the reorganization of routes and walkways, creating elevated walkways to facilitate access to the area and the flow of locals and visitors. According to the Municipal Council of Lisbon, Siza has recently completed the connection between one of the courtyards of the Carmo Convent (Patio B) to the Largo do Carmo square and the Carmo Terraces with a pedestrian path.

via Câmara Municipal de Lisboa via Câmara Municipal de Lisboa via Câmara Municipal de Lisboa via Câmara Municipal de Lisboa +8

The Guardian's Rowan Moore Names 10 Best Concrete Buildings

06:00 - 11 February, 2016
The Guardian's Rowan Moore Names 10 Best Concrete Buildings

“Concrete has the ability to be primitive and technological, massive and levitating, to combine the properties of steel with those of mud,” says Rowan Moore in his list of The 10 best concrete buildings created for The Guardian. Through examples spanning three continents, Moore unites old standbys with unexpected wonders, all of which show the varied possibilities inherent in mixing water, aggregate, and cement. In a list that incorporates examples from Classical times to the present, Moore establishes concrete’s unique ability to adapt to different times, styles, applications, and treatments.

Examples by Le Corbusier, Álvaro Siza, Lina Bo Bardi, and Marcel Breuer demonstrate that concrete is anything but workaday or utilitarian. Moore’s list affirms that a material simultaneously strong and light, durable, sustainable, and fire-resistant, can scarcely be considered anything short of miraculous. Of course, ten buildings can only provide an abridged version of concrete’s possibilities, and Moore cheekily apologizes for some of the obvious omissions. Check out the full list here.

Gallery: Public Auditorium in Llinars del Vallès by Alvaro Siza + Aresta Arquitectura

18:00 - 1 February, 2016
© Joao Morgado
© Joao Morgado

Architecture photographer Joao Morgado just shared with us images of Alvaro Siza's newest project in Barcelona -designed in collaboration with local office Aresta Arquitectura- the Public Auditorium in Llinars del Vallès.

The project is conformed by two red brick buildings, one which houses an auditorium with capacity for 300 seats and a second building with all the offices and technical spaces associated to the theater.

© Joao Morgado © Joao Morgado © Joao Morgado © Joao Morgado +24

A First Look at Álvaro Siza's First US Building

16:00 - 26 January, 2016
A First Look at Álvaro Siza's First US Building, Courtesy of Noe & Associates and The Boundary; Via The Architects' Newspaper
Courtesy of Noe & Associates and The Boundary; Via The Architects' Newspaper

An image of Álvaro Siza's first US building has been released. The luxury New York tower, planned for the corner of West 56th Street and Eleventh Avenue in Midtown, will rise up to 120 meters (just over 400 feet) and offer 80 units, a private roof garden, sun deck, spa and fitness center, and more. 

Siza is working with real estate development firms Sumaida + Khurana and LENY on the project. Sumaida + Khurana is the same developer who is collaborating with Tadao Ando on a luxury condominium at 152 Elizabeth Street

Now Streaming: Álvaro Siza at the CCA

18:01 - 24 September, 2015

Watch Álvaro Siza celebrate the opening of the exhibition "Corner, Block, Neighbourhood, Cities. Álvaro Siza in Berlin and The Hague" and the arrival of the Siza archive at the CCA. You can also follow the conversation on Twitter using #SizaCCA.