MCHAP Recognizes OMA, Holl, HdM as Finalists for Most Outstanding Projects in the Americas

The  (MCHAP) has just announced the seven finalists – drawn from a shortlist of 36 projects - at an event in Santiago, Chile.

To determine the finalists, the five jury members – Francisco Lienur, 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 of Kenneth Frampton discussing the selection process, after the break.

Fernando Guerra’s Stunning Images of Álvaro Siza’s Most Inspiring Works

. Image © FG+SG – Fernando Guerra, Sergio Guerra

Today, the renowned Portuguese architect Álvaro Siza turns 81. To celebrate, we’ve rounded-up some of Siza’s most inspiring works, all courtesy of Fernando Guerra and Sergio Guerra – FG + SG.

Siza was born in , 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).

Happy Birthday Álvaro Siza

Photo via Roaming By Design - http://roamingbydesign.com/

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.

MCHAP Shortlists the 36 Most “Outstanding Projects” in the Americas

Wiel Arets, Dean of the College of Architecture at Illinois Institute of Technology () and Dirk Denison, Director of the (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.

ArchDaily Editors Select 20 Amazing 21st Century Museums

In honor of International Museum Day we’ve collected twenty fascinating museums well worth visiting again. In this round up you’ll find classics – such as Bernard Tschumi Architects New Acropolis Museum and Zaha Hadid Architects‘ MAXXI Museum - as well as lesser-known gems – such as Medieval Museum, the Natural History Museum of Utah by Ennead, and the Muritzeum by Wingårdhs. See all of our editors’ favorites after the break!

Video: Alvaro Siza Denounces Architecture’s “Hyper-Specialization”

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In this , 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.

AD Round Up: Portugal’s Micro-Hotels

The Tree Snake Houses – A New, Smaller Trend In Hospitality Architecture. Image © Ricardo Oliveira Alves

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 MateusJorge 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.

Exhibition: Porto Poetic

Porto Poetic, an covering the career and work of notable portuguese architects, started March 6 and will keep on going until April 13. The , 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

Álvaro Siza + Juan Domingo Santos Design “New Gate of Alhambra”

Alhambra Atrium I Ivy Courtyard (Northwest Landscape View). Image © Vieira + Juan Domingo Santos; Rendering by LT Studios

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.”

Siza, Souto de Moura, Kuma Reflect on Their ‘Sensing Spaces’ Exhibitions

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 Realized at Former NATO Missile Base

© Tomas Riehle / Arturimages

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.”

Seven Architects Transform London’s RA into Multi-Sensory Experience

(Blue Pavilion) by Pezo von Ellrichshausen. © Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2014. Photography: James Harris

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 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.

AD Interviews Eduardo Souto de Moura On His Latest Prize

Prtizker laureate accepts the Veronica Rudge Green Prize in Urban Design at a ceremony held at the Harvard Graduate School of Design in September. Image © Yusuke Suzuki for Harvard GSD Events

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.

Seven Architects, Seven Multi-Sensory Installations Planned for London’s RA

Concept image of environment by Li Xiaodong, commissioned by the Royal Academy of Arts, London, detail.Li Xiaodong

The Royal Academy of Arts’ () 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.

Happy 80th Birthday Álvaro Siza

Courtesy of Alvaro Siza

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:

Alvaro Siza and Eduardo Souto de Moura To Create Temporary Pavilion in Sao Paolo

Exterior Image

Thanks to Alvaro Siza and Eduardo Souto de Moura, ’s two Pritzker Laureates, Sao Paulo will soon have its own temporary summer pavilion – a la the Serpentine Gallery – in the city’s most important green space: Ibirapuera Park.

Video: The Obsolescence of a Building, an Interview with Álvaro Siza

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In this by Hugo Oliveira, Álvaro Siza presents his ideas on the link between obsolescence and quality in architecture, and the role that a design’s flexibility plays in this relationship. He argues that the convent is perhaps the best example of a typology which is both fit for purpose and very flexible, allowing myriad other uses when its lifespan as a convent has ended. He also laments the current tendency to design a building for a very short period of time – intended to last only as long as it is needed for its original function. He links this tendency back to the Futurists of the early 20th century, where the idea was that “each generation makes its own environment which is later destroyed”, an idea he dismisses since “it also allows you to build badly because it only needs to last twenty years”.

You can see how Siza creates this flexibility in his own work by looking at his past projects featured on ArchDaily:

AD Classics: Boa Nova Tea House / Alvaro Siza

Courtesy of Samuel Ludwig

The Boa Nova Tea House, one of Siza’s earliest commissions, was awarded to him in 1956. His collaborator, Fernando Tavora, had won the competition for the project and passed it onto . Its location close to Siza’s home town had its significance, especially due to the architect’s intimate familiarity with the landscape. This is noticed in his incorporation of the rock formation, the ocean, and the greenery within the project, revealing a vivid understanding of the qualities of the local landscape. Alongside the Leça Swimming Pools, this project represents the foundation of Siza’s architecture with a compelling regard for nature.