Alvaro Siza orchestrates, like no other, the experience of the visitor in his works. By means of compressions and decompression, openings and closings, volumes, voids and light, the Portuguese architect marks the paths, points of view, and perspective of the passage of time. In this photo essay, Ronaldo Azambuja photographed the Iberê Camargo Foundation ten years after its inauguration.
The building houses the collection of Brazilian painter Iberê Camargo and is located on a scarp in the Lake Guaíba area of Porto Alegre. Because of the complicated terrain and limited dimensions, Siza chose to verticalize the museum, creating a subsoil for the support areas (collection, auditorium, library) and the main volume, with a ground floor and three floors for exhibition rooms. The idea of creating a path through a smooth continuous ramp in the exhibition space drew the facade of the building, marked externally by its ramps detaching it from the main volume. Because of the insufficient perimeter of the building to bypass the emptiness and overcome the height with a slope, Siza developed an ingenious and original zigzag design, conforming two sets of ramps, where one is external (hard and irregular) and the other accompanies the internal sinuous forms.
The few openings also highlight the genius of the architect. They are precise cutouts of the landscape, dotted in almost uncharted places like moving photos. In a building that, at first sight, seems closed and self-absorbed, becomes a location that reveres its surroundings; slight gestures that show that the most difficult thing is always to make something complex, simple.