We explore the life and career of Portuguese architect Alvaro Siza. During six decades of work Siza’s style has come to encompass the optimism of the post-Salazar years and speaks volumes about Portugal’s soft-power pull today.
Source by Monocle 24: Monocle on Design
Álvaro Siza Vieira
Introduced by Barry Bergdoll and Kenneth Frampton; Moderated by Pedro Gadanho
Recorded: June 18, 2013
Álvaro Siza Vieira is the most important and influential Portuguese architect of our time. His work has been internationally recognized for more than five decades for its coherent and thoughtful response to both site and history in context. His architecture, spread across the globe, is lauded for its intuitive creative drive and innovative spatial experimentation. On the occasion of his June 18, 2013, Current Work lecture held at the Museum of Modern Art, Siza presented the evolution of his Iberê Camargo Museum in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Siza discussed the solutions he supplied for a challenging and dramatic waterfront site, as well as his pervasive use of natural light throughout the building. In the video above, watch Siza’s entire lecture, including, first, a thoughtful introduction by Kenneth Frampton, Ware Professor of Architecture at Columbia University, and afterwards, a conversation between Siza and Pedro Gadanho, Curator of Contemporary Architecture at MoMA.
The Architectural League’s Current Work series presents the work of significant international figures, who powerfully influence contemporary architectural practice and shape the future of the built environment.
Following an intense period of work in the mid-1970s with Portugal’s post-revolutionary housing initiatives, in the early 1980s Álvaro Siza contributed projects to two of the most important urban renewal programs in Europe: Berlin’s IBA and The Hague’s Stadsvernieuwing als Kulturel Aktiviteit (Urban Renewal as a Cultural Activity). This lecture by Nelson Mota examines the instrumental role that the assimilation of vernacular social and spatial practices played in Siza’s housing projects for these two cities. Read more:
Après une intense période de travail au milieu des années 1970 consacrée au initiatives d’habitation lancées au Portugal après la révolution, Álvaro Siza participe dans les années 1980 à deux des plus importants programmes de renouveau urbain en Europe : l’Exposition internationale d’architecture (IBA) de Berlin et le Stadsvernieuwing als Kulturel Aktiviteit (le renouveau urbain comme activité culturelle) de La Haye. Cette conférence examine le rôle essentiel qu’a joué l’assimilation de pratiques sociales et spatiales vernaculaires dans les projets d’habitation de Siza réalisés dans ces deux villes. En savoir plus :
0:00 Introduction by Richard Sommer
5:45 Mirko Zardini presentation
11:11 Alvaro Siza presentation
51:00 Discussion with Robert Levit
1:14:00 Q & A
On September 25, 2015, the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design, in collaboration with the Canadian Centre for Architecture, presented Portuguese architect Álvaro Siza at the University of Toronto's Convocation Hall.
Álvaro Siza emerged in the late 1950s at the forefront of a generation of architects, modernist in sensibility but attuned to new ways to responding to history and context. Siza’s work adapted to the cultural and social context of Portugal and was at the forefront of shifting sensibilities across Europe. Drawing on both local building traditions and diverse international influences, such as the work of the Viennese Adolf Loos, the American Frank Lloyd Wright, the Finn Alvar Aalto, and the modernist German masters Hugo Haring, Bruno Taut, and Hans Scharoun, Siza injected a uniquely plastic, yet disciplined and sensitive modern architecture into the traditional fabric of Portuguese cities and towns. He has subsequently brought this sensibility to bear in numerous international commissions. Siza’s lecture in Toronto will focus on two projects aimed a transforming the city of Porto, projects which have influenced the way a generation of architects have thought about working on cities.
Álvaro Siza has received two of architecture’s highest honors: the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 1992 and the Venice Biennale’s Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement in 2012. Amongst his many other honours, he has also received the Mies van der Rohe award (1988) and the Alvar Aalto Medal (1988). His lecture coincides with the arrival of a large part of his office’s archive at the CCA in Montréal. The donated work comprises projects representing his life-long interest in and study of houses, housing, and urbanism, as well as designs for cultural centres, museums, and universities throughout Europe, Asia, and South America.
Recognized internationally for its experience in the preservation and presentation of international archives, the CCA has committed to cataloguing and storing Siza’s materials and making them accessible for scholarly research. Siza’s public lecture also coincides with two exhibitions at the CCA featuring his work: Corner, Block Neighbourhood, Cities: Álvaro Siza in Berlin and The Hague, and The SAAL Process: Housing in Portugal 1974-76. The celebrated architect will be presenting a lecture in Montréal a day before his presentation in Toronto.
For more information about the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design at the University of Toronto, visit us at http://www.daniels.utoronto.ca