All
Projects
Products
Events
Competitions

Álvaro Siza Vieira

"Architects don't invent anything, they just transform reality."

BROWSE ALL FROM THIS FIRM HERE

AD Classics: Expo'98 Portuguese National Pavilion / Álvaro Siza Vieira

This article was originally published on January 2, 2015. To read the stories behind other celebrated architecture projects, visit our AD Classics section.

At the Expo ’98 Portuguese National Pavilion, structure and architectural form work in graceful harmony. Situated at the mouth of the Tagus River in Lisbon, Portugal, the heart of the design is an enormous and impossibly thin concrete canopy, draped effortlessly between two mighty porticoes and framing a commanding view of the water. The simple, gestural move is both weightless and mighty, a bold architectural solution to the common problem of the covered public plaza. Under the graceful touch of Álvaro Siza Vieira, physics and physical form theatrically engage one another, and simplicity and clarity elevate the pavilion to the height of modern sophistication.

© flickr user bricolage 108 © flickr user Paulo Guerra © flickr user Valentina Innocente © Dacian Groza + 12

Nadir Afonso Contemporary Art Museum / Álvaro Siza Vieira

© Fernando Guerra | FG+SG © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG + 85

Chaves, Portugal

Auditorium Theatre of Llinars del Valles / Álvaro Siza Vieira + Aresta + G.O.P.

© Fernando Guerra |  FG+SG © Fernando Guerra |  FG+SG © Fernando Guerra |  FG+SG © Fernando Guerra |  FG+SG + 33

Llinars del Vallès, Spain

Iberê Camargo Foundation: Standards and Variations

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

It could have been a rectangular prism whose length measures forty-one meters and a half, whose width measures thirty-three meters, and whose height measures twenty-five meters. It could have been, if the projection had ended in the trace of a pure rule. It could have been almost the same: three elevated plans, each formed by three rectangular exhibitions rooms, placed at two consecutive faces and connected by ramps that run on the two other faces. Then, a four-story-high atrium rises between circulations and rooms, creating a diagonal symmetry inside the building.

The Building on the Water / Álvaro Siza + Carlos Castanheira

© Fernando Guerra | FG + SG © Fernando Guerra | FG + SG © Fernando Guerra | FG + SG © Fernando Guerra | FG + SG + 48

Huai'an, China

AD Classics: Wohnhaus Schlesisches Tor (Bonjour Tristesse) / Álvaro Siza Vieira + Peter Brinkert

Bonjour Tristesse is a social housing project designed by Portuguese Architect Álvaro Siza Vieira. Located in Berlin, the project was Siza’s first built work outside of his native country. Siza’s design offers a meaningful precedent in urban densification, demonstrating a delicate balance between contextual awareness, creative freedom, and progressive vision.

Project site before construction. Image © Flickr user Hen's March © Flickr user Humberto Marum © Flickr user lortnoc © Flickr user jaime.silva + 9

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

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.”

AD Classics: Boa Nova Tea House / Álvaro Siza Vieira

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 Alvaro Siza. 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.

© Samuel Ludwig © Samuel Ludwig © Samuel Ludwig © Samuel Ludwig + 15

Fire Station in Santo Tirso / Álvaro Siza Vieira

© João Morgado - Architecture Photography © João Morgado - Architecture Photography © João Morgado - Architecture Photography © João Morgado - Architecture Photography + 63

Santo Tirso, Portugal
  • Architects: Álvaro Siza Vieira
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area: 1400.0
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year: 2013

Vidago Palace & Spa / Álvaro Siza Vieira

© Nelson Garrido © Nelson Garrido © Nelson Garrido © Nelson Garrido + 11

Spa
Loivos, Portugal

Flashback: Tolo House / Álvaro Siza Vieira

© Fernando Guerra |  FG+SG © Fernando Guerra |  FG+SG © Fernando Guerra |  FG+SG © Fernando Guerra |  FG+SG + 54

Ribeira de Pena, Portugal
  • Architects: Alvaro Leite Siza
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area: 180.0
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year: 2005

AD Classics: Leça Swimming Pools / Álvaro Siza Vieira

AD Classics: Leça Swimming Pools / Álvaro Siza Vieira AD Classics: Leça Swimming Pools / Álvaro Siza Vieira AD Classics: Leça Swimming Pools / Álvaro Siza Vieira AD Classics: Leça Swimming Pools / Álvaro Siza Vieira + 18

Matosinhos, Portugal

Fez House / Álvaro Siza Vieira

© Fernando Guerra |  FG+SG © Fernando Guerra |  FG+SG © Fernando Guerra |  FG+SG © Fernando Guerra |  FG+SG + 45

Porto, Portugal
  • Architects: Alvaro Leite Siza Vieira
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year: 2010

AD Classics: Santa Maria Church de Canaveses / Álvaro Siza Vieira

Courtesy of Alvaro Siza Website Courtesy of Alvaro Siza Website Courtesy of Alvaro Siza Website Courtesy of Alvaro Siza Website + 15

Marco de Canaveses, Portugal

Mimesis Museum / Castanheira & Bastai Arquitectos Associados + Jun Sung Kim + Álvaro Siza Vieira

© Fernando Guerra |  FG+SG © Fernando Guerra |  FG+SG © Fernando Guerra |  FG+SG © Fernando Guerra |  FG+SG + 38

Paju-Si, South Korea
  • Architects: Alvaro Siza + Castanheira & Bastai Arquitectos Associados + Jun Sung Kim
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year: 2009