Álvaro Joaquim de Melo Siza Vieira, or simply Álvaro Siza, was born in Matosinhos, Portugal, on June 25, 1933. His first work – four houses in Matosinhos – was built in 1954, even before completing his studies at the School of Fine Arts from the University of Porto (current Faculty of Architecture of the University of Porto – FAUP), which happened a year later.
An interesting aspect of Siza's trajectory is his initial interest in sculpture. This specificity runs through all his architectural work and gives it a certain uniqueness. Perceived by many as a continuation of principles of modernism, it is really possible to see in his work the influence of one of the greatest modern pioneers: Alvar Aalto.
His work is also considered by many to be an example of what Kenneth Frampton called critical regionalism; and, in fact, one can see in his buildings a sensitivity towards traditional construction techniques and the spirit of the context.
The relationship between nature and construction is decisive in architecture. This relationship, a permanent feature of any project, is to me a kind of obsession; it was always decisive in the course of history, and yet, today tends towards gradual extinction. -- Álvaro Siza
Siza's architecture escapes precise definition: it is somehow both modern and traditional; sensitive to place and yet demanding of the sensitivity of its user.
Siza's early interest in sculpture is clearly reflected in his buildings; indeed, their sculptural quality was commented upon by the 1992 Pritzker jury who named Siza Laureate: "his shapes, molded by light, have a deceptive simplicity about them; they are honest".
Try as we might to describe and frame his work, words are not enough; only by visiting and experiencing his sculpted spaces can you come to an understanding of Siza's architecture.
The following is a list of the most inspiring works of Álvaro Siza, beautifully captured by the photographs by Fernando Guerra.
Cite: ArchDaily Team. "Álvaro Siza, between Modern and Traditional" [Álvaro Siza, entre o moderno e o tradicional ] 25 Jun 2022. ArchDaily. (Trans. Quirk, Vanessa) Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/520156/fernando-guerra-s-stunning-images-of-alvaro-siza-s-most-inspiring-works> ISSN 0719-8884