Friday, May 6, 2011


Born in 25 June 1933 in Matosinhos, just north of Porto in Portugal. Studied architecture at University of Porto, School of Architecture (1949-55). Opened his own atelier in Porto (1954) and began Alvaro Siza's career by designing smaller works, mainly residences in the late 1950s-1960s. Collaborated will) Portuguese architect Fernando Tavora (1955-58); began leaching at University of Porto (1966); became full professor (1976-present); has taught and lectured outside Portugal at Harvard University, the Ecole Poytechniquc of Lausanne, Switzerland, and Los Andes University of Bogota. Awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize (1992).

Portuguese architect Alvaro Siza (Alvaro Joaquim Melo Siza Viera), is one of the best-known Portuguese architects of the 20th century. Although Alvaro Siza produced numerous projects for clients in Portugal (houses, schools, and other instututions), it was not until the 1980s that Alvaro Siza began to recieve recognition through exhibitions and commissions in other European countries. 

Alvaro Siza's architecture is strongly rooted in the Modern movement, but incorporates a subjective approach to concept and design, seeking alternative interpretations of modernism. Alvaro Siza has stated, "Architecture is increasingly a problem of use and reference to models... My architecture does not have a pre-established language and does not establish a language. It is a response to a concrete problem, a situation in transformation in which I participate."

The geographic and climatic contitions of the place of Alvaro Siza's architecture are of profound importance to this thinking in addition to cultural and social concerns. In Alvaro Siza's oeuvre sensitivity to context does not result in nostalgic historicism or critical regionalism. It is rather a unique approach to a universal language transformed to respond to a local situation. Alvaro Siza's built works strive to integrate conflicting demands and affinities, often embodying poins of tension that exist in a delicate balance.

For Alvaro Siza, a building is the same lime autonomous and responsive, unified and diversified. Alvaro Siza eschews using technology for technology's sake and employs local materials such as stucco, brick, and stone - all traditional building materials that Alvaro Siza uses to create abstract compositions.

Alvaro Siza's swimming pools (1966) located in Leca de Palmeira, a small town near Porto, were his first projects to receive acclaim outside Portugal. These seaside pools easily make the transition from man-made concrete to the natural rock formations, creating sublime bathing pools. The changing rooms are in an unobtrusive pavilion of concrete with wood roofs that guide the visitor through a corridor-like space before opening on to the expansive sea.

The Pinto e Sotto Maior Bank (1974) in Oliveira de Azmeis, a small town in northern Portugal, is very representative of Alvaro Siza's early work. This small building does not adopt the formal architectural vocabulary of the place but rather creates a dialogue with its surroundings. The curved, glass facade looks out on to the square, however, creating a formal juxtaposition with the traditional forms of the square. Another bank building, the Borges and Irmao Bank (1986) in Vila do Conde, Portugal, takes a similar approach. It is both a separate entity and a participant in the townscape, respecing the scale of its surroundings. From the outside little is revealed of the character of the interior. However, the space flows because of the visual connection between floors.

In 1977 following the revolution in Portugal, the local government of Evora commissioned Alvaro Siza to plan a housing project in the rural outskirts of the town. It was to be one of several that Alvaro Siza would do for the national housing association, consisting of 1,200 low-cost, row houses, some one-story and some twostory units, all with courtyards. The layout, of the new section gave order to an area at the periphery of the town while connecting it with existing housing areas.

During the 1980s, Alvaro Siza asked to undertake increasingly larger institutional projects, such as the School of Architecture (1992) at Porto University in Porto, the Teachers Training College (1991) at Setubal, and the Centro Galiziano (Museum of Modern Art, 1994) in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, located within the historical city. 

This Centro Galiziano building fots into a complicated and historic site employing concepts of integration and contrast. The reductive elongated form of the museum - produced by two adjacent wings - seeks to create classical order in an area that had suffered decline. The granite exterior contrasts with the stark white interior. Once again, Alvaro Siza has approached the work with sensitivity to context without relinquishing the autonomy and strength of the new construction. Other notable museum projects include the addition to the Serralves Foundation and Museum in Porto (1999), the renovation and extension to the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam (1997), and the Manzana del Revellin Cultural Centre in Ceuta, Portugal (1997).

Other outstanding, widely published projects of Alvaro Siza's include die Aveiro University Library a. Aveiro, Portugal (1994); the Vitra factory at Weil-am-Rein, Germany (1994); Schlesisches Tor Apartments at Kreuzberg, Germany (1983); the Portuguese Pavilion at Expo '98 in Lisbon, Portugal (1998); the Santa Maria Church in Marco de Canavezes, Portugal (1997).

his AWARD 
In 1988 he was awarded the Gold Medal for Architecture by the Colegio de Architectos, Spain, the Alvar Aalto Foundation Gold Medal, the Prince of Wales Prize in Urban Design from Harvard University, and the European Architectural Award by the EEC/Mies van der Rohe Foundation, Barcelona. In 1992 he was awarded the Pritzker Prize by the Hyatt Foundation of Chicago for his lifelong achievements. In 1993 he was awarded the National Architecture Prize by the Portuguese Architects Association. Doctor Honoris Causa by the University of Valencia (1992) and by the Ecole Polythechnique Federal of Lausanne (1993).

Gateway for his uncle's house, Matosinhos - 1952;
Kitchen for his grandmother's house, Matosinhos - 1953;
Four houses, Matosinhos - 1954-57;
Parish centre, Matosinhos - 1956-59;
Carneiro de Melo house, Oporto - 1957-59;
Boa Nova tea-house/restaurant, Leca da Palmeira, with A. Neves, A. Meneres, B. Dias and J. Sampaio - 1958-63;
Quinta da Conceicao swimming pool, Matosinhos - 1958-65;
Monument to caulkers, Matosinhos (design with A. Soutinho, A. Amaral and the sculptor Lagoa) - 1959; 

Rocha Ribeiro house, Maia - 1960-62;
Lordelo Co-operative, Oporto - 1960-63;
Leca da Palmeira swimming pool, Leca da Palmeira - 1961-66;
Ferreira da Costa house, Matosinhos - 1962-65;
Alves Costa house, Moledo do Moinho - 1964-68;
Alves Santos house, Povoa de Varzim - 1964-69;
Cotton warehouse, Matosinhos - 1966;
Sacor Housing Association, Povoa de Varzim - 1966;
Motel, Coimbra (design) - 1967;
Manuel Magalhaes house, Oporto - 1967-70;
Carlos Guimaraes house, Aveiro (design) - 1968;
Office block, Oporto (design) - 1969;

Domus co-operative interior, Oporto -1970;
Service station, Matosinhos (design) - 1970;
Housing, Vila do Conde - 1970-72;
Alcino Cardoso house, Moledo do Minho - 1971;
Pinto e Sotto Mayor bank, Oliveira de Azemeis - 1971-74;
Domus co-operative supermarket, Oporto - 1972;
Marques Pinto house, Oporto (design) -1972;
Barbara de Sousa estate, Ovar (design) - 1972;
Mobil housing, Matosinhos (design) -1972;
Pinto e Sotto Mayor bank, Lamego - 1972-73;
House in Azeitao, Setubal (design) - 1973;
Art gallery, Oporto (modified) -1973;
Beires house, Povoa de Varzim - 1973-76;
Marginal de Leca and Zona da Boa Nova Master Plan (design) - 1974;
Recuperation of Sao Victor quarter, Oporto - 1974-77;
Staircase at "Calem House", Foz do Douro, Oporto - 1975;
Paula Frassineti school, Oporto (design) - 1975;
Pico do Areeiro restaurant, Madeira (design) - 1975;
Housing Estate, Bouca, Oporto - 1975-77;
Largo da Lada and recuperation of Barredo quarter, Oporto (design) -1976;
Antonio Carlos Siza house, Santo Tirso - 1976-78;
Quinta da Malagueira housing estate, Evora - 1977;
Hotel in Monte Pico, Braga (design) - 1978;
Borges e Irmao bank, Vila do Conde - 1978-86;
Maria Margarida house, Arcozelo - 1979-87;
Goerlitzer Bad swimming pool, Berlin (design) - 1979;
Housing in Fraenkelufer, Berlin (design) - 1979;

House in Francelos, Vila Nova de Gaia (design) - 1980;
Caixa Geral de Depositos, Matosinhos (design) - 1980;
Monument to Antonio Nobre, Leca da Palmeira - 1980;
Housing, Charlottenburg, West Berlin (design) - 1980;
Teixeira apartment, Povoa de Varzim - 1980-84;
Teixeira house, Tapias, Guimaraes - 1980-88;
Dom Co. Head office, Cologne (design) - 1980;
Block of flats, Kottbusser Damm, West Berlin (design) - 1980;
Branch of the Credito Predial savings bank, Montalegre (design) - 1980;
Avelino Duarte house, Ovar - 1980-84;
Block of flats, Bonjour Tristesse, West Berlin (with Peter Brinkert) - 1980-84;
Fernando Machado house, Oporto (design) - 1981;
Housing estate, Vila Vicosa (design) - 1981;
Housing estate, Aviz (design) - 1981;
Trucking depot, Braga (design) - 1982;
Cultural centre, Sines (design) - 1982;
Urban plan, Pombais, Guimaraes - 1982;
Anibal Guimaraes da Costa house, Trofa (design) - 1982;
Phase Two, Pombais, Guimaraes (housing, commerce, offices) - 1982-;
Maria Bahia house, Gondomar - 1983-;
Nina Boutique, Oporto - 1983;
Macau City Expansion Plan (with Fernando Tavora) - 1983-;
Kulturforum, West Berlin (design) - 1983;
Prinz Albrecht Palais, West Berlin (design) - 1983;
Motel, Quinta da Malagueira, Evora - 1983-;
Extension to the Institut Francais, Oporto (design) - 1983;
Urban plan and housing estate (De Punkt en de Komma), Schilderswijk, The Hague - 1983-88;
Proposals for Caserta, Napoli (design) - 1984;
David Vieira de Castro house, Famalicao - 1984-;
Erhard Josef Pascher house, Sintra - 1984;
Luis Figueiredo house, Gondomar - 1988-;
"Joao de Deus" kindergarten, Penafiel - 1984-91;
Two houses and shops, Schilderswijk-West, The Hague - 1984-88;
Van der Vennepark garden, Schilderswijk-West, The Hague - 1985-88;
Giudecca area restoration, Venice (design) - 1985;
J. Oliveira e Filho housing estate, Agueda (design) - 1985;
Restoration of houses and annexes, Quinta da Povoa, Faculty of Architecture, Oporto - 1985-86;
Faculty of Architecture pavilion, Oporto - 1985-86;
Town park, Salemi (design) - 1986;
Hydrographic Institute, Lisbon (design) - 1986;
Extension to WInkler casino and restaurant, Salzburg (design) - 1986;
Expo '92 master plan, Seville (design) - 1986;
College of Education, Setubal - 1986-1993;
Faculty of Architecture, University of Oporto - 1987-93;
Cesar Rodrigues house, Oporto - 1987-;
La Defensa cultural centre, Madrid (designo) - 1988;
"Um Progetto per Siena" competition (design) - 1988;
Water tower, University of Aveiro - 1988-89;
University of Aveiro library - 1988-;
Galicia museum of modern art, Santiago de Compostela - 1988-93;
Sports complex, Vilanova de Arousa (design) - 1988;
Guardiola house, Seville (design);
Carvalho Araujo gallery, Lisbon - 1988-89;
Remodelling of Miranda Santos house, Matosinhos - 1988-93;
Plan for the reconstruction of the Chiado fire-damaged zone, Lisbon - 1989-;
Portal de Riquer, Alcoi-Valencia - 1989-;
Housing in Concepcion Arenal, Cadiz - 1989-;
Contest for the Bibliotheque da France, Paris (design) - 1989;
Bonaval garden, Santiago de Compostela - 1989-94;
Doedijnstraat plan, housing estate, Schilderswijk, The Hague - 1989-;
Paraca de Espanha master plan and traffic signals, Lisbon - 1989-;
Church and paroquial centre, Malagueira, Evora (design) - 1989; 

Ana Costa house, Lousada - 1990-;
Pereira Ganhao house, Troia (design) - 1990;
Church and paroquial centre, Marco de Canavezes - 1990-;
Office block, Oliveira de Azemeis - 1990-;
Ceramique Terrein, Maastricht - 1990-;
Olympic village meteorological centre, Barcelona - 1990-92;
Avenida Jose Malhoa master plan, Lisbon - 1990-92;
Boulevard Brune competition, Paris (design) - 1990;
Rectory and law library, Nou Camp, University of Valencia - 1990;
Buildings in Massarelos, Oporto (design) - 1990;
Modern art museum/Serralves foundation, Oporto - 1991-;
Boavista tourist complex, Oporto - 1991-;
Castro e Melo building, Lisbon - 1991-;
Chaves council building, Lisbon - 1991-;
Eurocentre, Boavista, Oporto - 1991-;
Vitra International furniture factory, Weil am Rhein - 1991-;
"Pai Ramiro" restaurant, Oporto - 1991-;
Malaga (housing) plan - 1992;
Headquarters of the Young Businessmen's Association, Oeiras - 1992-;
Grandella building, Lisbon - 1992-;
Condes cinema, Lisbon - 1992;
"Terracos de Braganca", Lisbon - 1992;
Restaurant-tea house, Malagueira, Evora - 1992-;
Language centre, Malagueira, Evora (design) - 1992-;
Chiado underground station, Lisbon - 1992-;
"Visiones para Madrid" exhibition, Madrid - 1992;
Helsinki museum competition - 1992-93;
Sao Joao master plan, Costa da Caparica - 1993-;
Block of flats, Setubal - 1993-;
Block of flats, Matosinhos -1993-;
Restoration of Mares swimming pool, Leca da Palmeira - 1993-;
Mares swimming pool restaurant - 1993-;
Costa Braga building, Matosinhos - 1993-;
"Revigres" exhibition hall, Agueda - 1993-;
Restaurant and offices, Granada - 1993-;
Headquarters of the Cargaleiro foundation, Lisbon - 1993-;
Alvaro Siza office, Evora - 1993-;
Alvaro Siza office (and others), Oporto - 1993-;
Houses (two), Felgueiras - 1993-;
Faculty of Journalism, Santiago de Compostela - 1993-;
"Centre Ville" master plan, Montreuil - 1993-;
Housing, Montreuil - 1993-;
Artists' studio, Montreuil - 1993-;
Laboratory, showroom, housing, Venice - 1993-;
"The J. Paul Getty Museum" competition, Santa Monica, USA (selected design) - 1993-;
"CasaJovem" cooperative housing estate, Guarda - 1994-;
Children's farm, Serralves Foundation, Oporto - 1994-;
Granell Museum, Santiago de Compostela - 1994-;
Restoration of Casa de Serralves, Oporto - 1994-;
T1 and T4 housing, Malagueira, Evora - 1994-;
Joao de Deus kindergarten annex, Penafiel - 1994-;
Rossio de Sao Bras master plan, Evora - 1994-;
Palma di Montechiaro historic centre master plan - 1994-;
Universiades '97 sports complex, Palermo - 1995;
Housing in Ostende, Belgium - 1995;
Portuguese pavilion, Expo '98, Lisbon - 1995;
University of Alicante rectory - 1995;
Douro and Leixoes port administration building, Matosinhos - 1995

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