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Tony Fretton: The Latest Architecture and News

Reflections On Álvaro Siza's Seminal Quinta da Malagueira Housing Scheme

00:00 - 29 January, 2015

In an essay and accompanying mini-documentary film by Ellis Woodman for The Architectural Review, Siza's iconic Quinta da Malagueira housing estate (1973-1977) in Évora, Portugal, is comprehensively explored and examined with a refreshingly engaging critical weight. Rather than develop multi-story housing in the sensitive landscape around the city, Siza proposed "a plan that distributed the programme between two fields composed of low-rise terraced courtyard houses." As a result, the arrangement of these structures adjust to the "undulating topography ensuring that the narrow, cobbled streets along which the houses are distributed always follow the slope."

As is made clear in the film (above), one of the remarkable aspects about the Quinta da Malagueira estate is that it is "governed by a third layer of infrastructure" which takes the form of "an elevated network of conduits that distributes water and electricity [...] much in the manner of a miniature aqueduct." For Siza, this was a logical move as it provided the cheapest means of distributing utilities around the complex. Woodman ultimately concludes that "Siza’s work at Malagueira invites a reading less as a fixed artefact and rather as one episode in the site’s ongoing transformation."

Read extracts of what Pier Vittorio Aureli, Tony Fretton, and John Tuomey (among others) have said about Siza's œuvre and approach after the break.

Interview: Tony Fretton, by Hugo Oliveira

19:00 - 28 November, 2011
© Chris Clunn
© Chris Clunn

We are sharing with you an interview of architect Tony Fretton of Tony Fretton Architects conducted by Hugo Oliveira, as seen in Jornal Arquitectos. Prior to founding his firm in 1982, Fretton was Principal Designer at Arup Associates. He is deeply committed to architectural education and has experience teaching worldwide, from the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London to Harvard University in Cambridge. He currently serves as a Professor of Architectural Design and Interiors at TU Delft in the Netherlands.

The complete interview following the break.