The archives of Álvaro Siza, whose drawings, sketches, and models have been exhibited in the most renowned cultural institutions around the world, may soon be transferred to the Canadian Centre for Architecture (Centre Canadien d’Architecture, CCA) in Montreal.
The architect confirmed on Wednesday to Portuguese paper PÚBLICO that he has been “in talks” with the CCA, as well as other un-named institutions from different countries, in order to “decide the future” of his archives.
“A painter is a magician that immobilizes time.” - Iberê Camargo
The Fundação Iberê Camargo, which received a Golden Lion at the 2002 Venice Biennale of Architecture, is Portuguese architect Álvaro Siza’s first project in Brazil. It serves as an architectural exemplar not only for the city of Porto Alegre, but also for the entire country of Brazil. Defined by Siza as “quasi-arquitecture” — with careful explorations of light, texture, movement and space–the building cultivates a direct relationship between the viewer and the artwork, and, in turn, allows visitors to richly come into contact with Iberê’s (one of the great names of twentieth-century Brazilian art) work.
“Architects don’t invent anything, they just transform reality.” - Álvaro Siza
The first in Brazil to use white concrete–seen around the entire exterior– the building does not use any bricks. The visitor is guided through a trajectory of descent throughout the building via ramps in the nine exhibition halls. The monolith is supported by massive slabs, pillars and beams. No detail escaped the hands of the architect; the furniture and signage were also designed by Siza.
Last week, the project was nominated as one of seven finalists in the Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize (MCHAP). Now in its first edition, and with a distinguished jury (Francisco Liernur, Sarah Whiting, Wiel Arets, Dominique Perrault, e Kenneth Frampton), the MCHAP recognizes exceptional architecture built in the first 13 years of the 21st century.
With this news, we are presenting an extensive set of photos of this important project, realized and generously shared by one of the world’s most important architecture photographers: Fernando Guerra of FG+SG - Últimas reportagens.
Story written by Joanna Helm for ArchDaily Brasil. Translated by Becky Quintal.
Scroll to see Guerra’s beautiful images of the Fundação Iberê Camargo:
To determine the finalists, the five jury members – Francisco Liernur, Sarah Whiting, Wiel Arets, Dominique Perrault, and Kenneth Frampton - spent the last twelve days visiting projects, speaking with the architects, users and owners of the spaces, and entering into intense debate among each other.
As jury member Dominique Perrault noted, “There’s a lot of means by which to evaluate projects – models, drawings, images – but we took all opportunities to test the quality of the architecture. In the end, only by visiting can you sense the ‘touch of god’ – the presence of the building itself in the context.”
The resulting finalists show tremendous variety – in terms of scale, place, typology, program, materials, etc. – making the task of choosing a winner all the more challenging. See all seven finalists, as well as a video of Kenneth Frampton discussing the selection process, after the break.
Siza was born in Matosinhos, Portugal, in 1933. His first work was built in 1954, before Siza had even completed his studies at the School of Fine Arts at the University of Porto (now Faculty of Architecture, University of Porto – FAUP).
Today marks the 81st birthday of Portuguese modernist Álvaro Siza. Originally slated to become a sculptor, Siza’s switch-over to architecture took place early in his career, after experiencing the work of Antoni Gaudí (whose birthday he shares). Since then, he has risen to become one of the most respected architects of the era, winning the Pritzker Prize in 1992.
Siza, whose work is recognized for its sculptural quality and “deceptive simplicity,” is possibly most well-known for his Leça Swimming Pools, built in the 1960s. To celebrate, we invite you to check out our AD original doodle (below) and revisit Siza’s classic works here on ArchDaily.
- AD Classics: Leça Swimming Pools
- AD Classics: Boa Nova Tea House
- Venice Biennale 2012 Pavilion
- Fundação Iberê Camargo in Porto Alegre
- AD Classics: Santa Maria Church de Canaveses
- Fire Station in Santo Tirso
Wiel Arets, Dean of the College of Architecture at Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) and Dirk Denison, Director of the Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize (MCHAP), have announced the inaugural MCHAP shortlist – 36 “Outstanding Projects” selected from the 225 MCHAP nominees.
“The rich diversity of these built works is a testament to the creative energy at work in the Americas today,” said Arets. “When viewed alongside the innovative work by the MCHAP.emerge finalists and winner, Poli House by Mauricio Pezo and Sofia von Ellrichshausen which we honored in May, we see the evolution of a distinctly American conversation about creating livable space.” See all 36 winners after the break.
In this video, produced by Hugo Oliveira, Portuguese architect Álvaro Siza denounces the ”hyper-specialization” of architecture, outlining its academic roots as well as its practical implications for practice. Siza mentions how, in Portugal, a law was considered to limit architects to their specific specialities – exterior architects could not design interiors, for example. According to Siza, this tendency towards “hyper” or over specialization is unfortunate, as it gives rise to the segmentation of the discipline into subcategories - interior architecture, exterior architecture, landscape architecture, etc. - that undermine collaboration and team work.
Also make sure to check out the first part of this interview, where Siza discusses the obsolescence of buildings.
This Financial Times article describes the Post-Recession paradigm shift occurring in Portuguese architecture — from construction to landscape, large to small. Pritzker Prize winners Alvaro Siza and Eduardo Souto de Moura have been leading this “micro” trend, designing hotels with exceptional materiality and craft. We’ve decided to round up some of these extraordinary structures, including: Casa Na Areia and Cabanas no Rio by Aires Mateus, Jorge Sousa Santos’ Rio do Prado, the Ecork Hotel by Jose Carlos Cruz and Villa Extramuros by Jordi Fornells. Last but not least, is ArchDaily’s building of the year for hospitality architecture — the Tree Snake Houses from father Luís Rebelo de Andrade and son Tiago Rebelo de Andrade.
Porto Poetic, an exhibition covering the career and work of notable portuguese architects, started March 6 and will keep on going until April 13. The exhibition, which includes the work of Pritzker Prize winners Álvaro Siza and Eduardo Souto de Moura, will show sketches, plans, models and photographs of their most important work.
The exhibition will include a conference by Siza, Souto de Moura and Francesco Dal Co on April 3rd. The complete program and conference schedule can be downloaded here (in Portuguese).
Title: Exhibition: Porto Poetic
From: Thu, 06 Mar 2014
Until: Sun, 13 Apr 2014
Venue: Galeria Municipal Almeida Garrett
Address: Porto, Portugal
Commissioned after winning an international competition in 2010, Portuguese architect Álvaro Siza Viera and Granada-based Juan Domingo Santos have unveiled designs for a new entrance and visitors center at the Alhambra World Heritage site. A result of “superimposing a regular geometry over a territory of topography,” the new gate rearranges visitor access into the more than 1000-year-old monument through a series of enclosed, shaded courtyards and open, sunlit terraces.
Following to his experience at the Alhambra in 2009, Siza journaled about his envision for the new gate, stating: “…from bright sun to shadows, from warmth to coolness, from wide to intimate focus, I like to dream about my project before I set it down in any detail.”
As an accompaniment to their ongoing Sensing Spaces Exhibition in London, the Royal Academy of Arts has produced six wonderful films interviewing the architects involved in the exhibition, unearthing what motivates and inspires them as architects, and what the primary themes of their exhibition projects are.
The above video features both Álvaro Siza and Eduardo Souto de Moura, who both designed their Sensing Spaces exhibits with the other in mind. Siza explains his preoccupation with the joints between the natural and the man-made through his Leça Swimming Pool complex, and the way the rock formations informed his interventions. He also introduces his one-time protégé Souto de Moura’s Braga stadium as expressing the same understanding of the natural and man-made.
See videos from the 5 other Sensing Spaces participants after the break
Raimund Abraham’s last project, a “stunning” design for a building atop an unused NATO missile base in Hombroich, has been realized four years after the architect’s death. At the time of his passing, Abraham was working on this project as part of a unique outdoor art complex close to Düsseldorf, Germany. A competition has now been announced to determine the future for the space which has become an “an integral part of Hombroich’s cultural sphere.”
This past week London’s Royal Academy of Arts (RA) celebrated the opening of, what many claim to be, one of the most “epic” and “enchanting” exhibitions of 2014: Sensing Space: Architecture Reimagined. With a series of large scale installations by some of profession’s most acclaimed architects, such as Eduardo Souto de Moura, and Kengo Kuma, the immersive exhibition creates an atmosphere that encourages visitors to become part of the experience and open their minds to the sensory realm of architecture.
“Architecture is so often the background to our lives,” stated curator Kate Goodwin. “We often don’t think about it – it’s practical and functional, but when does it do something more?”
A preview of the installations, after the break.
ArchDaily got the chance to briefly speak with Pritzker-prize winning Portuguese architect Eduardo Souto de Moura when he (along with the Porto Metro Authority) received the Veronica Rudge Green Prize in Urban Design at the Harvard Graduate School of Design earlier this month. His design for the Metro system in Porto, Portugal garnered high praise from the jury, with member Rahul Mehrotra explaining that the project “shows generosity to the public realm unusual for contemporary infrastructure projects.” Upon receipt of the award, the head of the Porto Metro, João Velez Carvalho, thanked Souto de Moura for his efforts in this “urban revolution” and touted Porto as a destination in which people actively and enthusiastically seek out the architecture of Souto de Moura and fellow Portuguese architect Alvaro Siza.
Souto de Moura spent a few moments with us to describe both the challenges and rewards of working on a project that saw the completion of 60 new stations constructed in 10 years within the sensitive fabric of the city of Porto—a UNESCO World Heritage site.
ArchDaily: What is your opinion of architecture prizes?
Eduardo Souto de Moura: I won’t be modest, I like describing my opinion about them because the profession is so tough and difficult that is it complicated to achieve a high level of quality. So when you’re awarded a prize it’s like a confirmation of your effort. But the other thing is that a project is not the act of an individual, it’s a collective act. When there’s a prize, the press and the people, the “anonymous people,” go see the project and talk about it, critique it. That’s what gives me the motivation to continue in the profession. And every time it gets more difficult.
The Royal Academy of Arts’ (RA) in London will soon be transformed into a multi-sensory “architectural maze” with the construction of seven installations by seven world-famous architects for the exhibit, Sensing Space: Architecture Reimagined. Participants, handpicked by curators Kate Goodwin and Drue Heinz, include Alvaro Siza, Eduardo Souto de Moura, Pezo von Ellrichshausen and Kengo Kuma.
Álvaro Siza, the Portugese architect known for his ‘poetic modernism‘ turns 80 today. Awarded the Pritzker Prize in 1992, Siza was credited as being a successor of early modernists: “his shapes, molded by light, have a deceptive simplicity about them; they are honest.”
Siza’s work has a sculptural quality to it, understandable as he had wanted to be a sculptor when he was young. However a trip to Barcelona convinced him to become an architect, after he experienced the work of Antoni Gaudí (with whom he shares a birthday). This sculptural architecture he then knits into its context, connecting his buildings with the site and the culture masterfully.
Siza first gained recognition in the 1960s with his Leça Swimming Pools, and has remained hugely influential ever since, completing a pavilion for the Venice Biennale last year. Today on his birthday, we invite you to look over his work here on ArchDaily: