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Álvaro Siza
Álvaro Siza
[Álvaro Joaquim de Melo Siza Vieira]
* Matosinhos, Portugal, 25 June 1933
nationality: portuguese
Arquitecto Álvaro Siza Vieira
Rua do Aleixo, 53
4150-043 Porto - Portugal
Tel: +351.02.616.7270 - Fax: +351.02.616.7279
Leone d'Oro alla Carriera
Venezia, XIII Mostra Internazionale d'Architettura [ » read more ]
Médaille d'or
Union internationale des architectes (UIA)
Premio Internacional Fundación Cristóbal Gabarrón de Artes Plásticas
Premio Luso-Español de Arte y Cultura
Royal Gold Medal
RIBA - Royal Institute of British Architects
Secil Award
Urbanism Special Grand Prize of France
Wolf Prize in Arts
Secil Award
Praemium Imperiale

Japan Art Association
The Prince of Wales Prize
Harvard University
Secil Award
National Architectural Award
Pritzker Architecture Prize
Alvar Aalto Medal
Museum of Finnish Architecture
Finnish Association of Architects (SAFA)
Medalla de Oro del Consejo Superior de Arquitectura
Colégio de Arquitectos de Madrid
Mies van der Rohe Award for European Architecture
Mies van der Rohe Foundation
China [Zhōngguó/Zhōnghuá] » Hangzhou
2008 - 2010
Spain [España] » Bilbao (Bilbo)
2005 - 2006
South Korea [Taehan Min'guk] » Anyang
2000 - 2006
Portugal » Oporto [Porto]
1999 - 2003
Italy [Italia] » Milan [Milano]
1990 - 2001
Netherlands [Nederland] » Maastricht
1990 - 2001
Netherlands [Nederland] » Maastricht
1990 - 2001
Netherlands [Nederland] » Maastricht
1992 - 2000
Facultade de Ciencias da Comunicación
Spain [España] » Santiago de Compostela
1974 - 2000
Portugal » Évora
1999 - 2000
Germany [Deutschland] » Hanover [Hannover]
Portugal » Oporto [Porto]
1991 - 1999
Portugal » Oporto [Porto]
1987 - 1998
Italy [Italia] » Salemi
1995 - 1998
Portugal » Lisbon [Lisboa]
1995 - 1998
Spain [España] » Alicante
1984 - 1998
Portugal » Vila Nova de Famalicão
1995 - 1998
Italy [Italia] » Salemi
Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea - Parque de Santo Domingo de Bonaval
Spain [España] » Santiago de Compostela
1990 - 1996
Igreja de Santa Maria
Portugal » Fornos
1988 - 1995
Portugal » Aveiro
1991 - 1994
Vitra International Furniture Factory
Germany [Deutschland] » Weil-am-Rhein
1990 - 1992
Spain [España] » Barcelona
Portugal » Aveiro
1986 - 1989
Netherlands [Nederland] » The Hague [Den Haag/'s Gravenhage]
1983 - 1988
Netherlands [Nederland] » The Hague [Den Haag/'s Gravenhage]
Portugal » Valbom-Gondomar
1980 - 1984
Bonjour Tristesse
Germany [Deutschland] » Berlin
1973 - 1978
Portugal » Oporto [Porto]
1971 - 1973
Portugal » Moledo do Minho
1958 - 1966
Portugal » Matosinhos
1958 - 1965
Portugal » Matosinhos
1958 - 1963
Portugal » Matosinhos
Álvaro Siza, "Il "SAAL di Bouça", trent'anni dopo/The "SAAL of Bouça", thirty years later", Casabella 765, aprile/april 2008, "Abitazioni collettive" pp. 29, 100 (26-40, 100-101)
"Fernando Távora, Álvaro Siza", Casabella 700, maggio/may 2002 [Portogallo/Portugal], "Portogallo" pp. 54-69
Fernando Távora, Álvaro Siza, "Lavorare "insieme": conversazione tra Álvaro Siza e Fernando Távora sui progetti per Avenida da Ponte", Casabella 700, maggio/may 2002 [Portogallo/Portugal], "Portogallo" pp. 54-57 (54-69)
Alvaro Siza, "Un altro italiano in Portogallo", Domus 738, maggio/may 1992, pp. 25-26 (25-37)
Álvaro Siza. Viagem sem Programa, Red Publishing, Bologna 2012
Carlos Castanheira, Álvaro Siza. Twenty Two recent Projects, Casadarquitectura, V.N. de Gaia 2007
review: Pierre-Alain Croset, "Un maestro sempre capace di rinnovarsi", Il giornale dell'architettura 57, dicembre 2007, "Libri" p. 30
Marella Santangelo (ed.), Gabriele Basilico, Mimmo Jodice (photo), Alvaro Siza e Napoli, Electa, Napoli 2005
Alessandra Cianchetta, Enrico Molteni, Alvaro Siza. Case 1954-2004, Skira, 2004
Rafael Moneo, Inquietud teórica y estrategia proyectual en la obra de ocho arquitectos contemporáneos, Actar, Barcelona 2004
tr.en.: Theoretical anxiety and design strategies in the work of eight contemporary architects, MIT Press, Cambridge (MA) 2004
Philip Jodidio, Alvaro Siza, Taschen 2003
Philip Jodidio, Architecture Now!, Taschen, Köln 2001, pp. 312-317
El Croquis 95, 1999/II [Alvaro Siza. 1995 1999]

William J.R. Curtis, "Notas sobre la Invención: Alvaro Siza/Notes on Invention: Alvaro Siza", El Croquis 95, 1999/II [Alvaro Siza. 1995 1999], pp. 22-31
Kenneth Frampton, Álvaro Siza. Tutte le opere, Electa, Milano 1999
Pierre-Alain Croset Alvaro Siza Scultura ArchitetturaPierre-Alain Croset (ed.), Álvaro Siza. Scultura Architettura, Skira, Milano 1999
GA Document Extra 11, 1998 [Alvaro Siza]
Luiz Trigueiros, Álvaro Siza. 1954-1976, Blau, Lisboa 1997
review: Casabella 660, ottobre/october 1998, "Libri e riviste" p. 91
El Croquis 68-69, 1994/IV [Alvaro Siza. 1958 1994]

William Curtis, "Alvaro Siza: una arquitectura de bordes/Alvaro Siza: an architecture of edges", El Croquis 68-69, 1994/IV [Alvaro Siza. 1958 1994], pp. 32-45
Directed by
Augusto Custodio
Year of production
Álvaro Siza
Architect's role
"Fernando Távora, Álvaro Siza", Casabella 700, maggio/may 2002 [Portogallo/Portugal], "Portogallo" pp. 54-69
Fernando Távora, Álvaro Siza, "Lavorare "insieme": conversazione tra Álvaro Siza e Fernando Távora sui progetti per Avenida da Ponte", Casabella 700, maggio/may 2002 [Portogallo/Portugal], "Portogallo" pp. 54-57 (54-69)
Carlos Seoane, "Intimità e monumentalità/Intimacy and Monumentality", Casabella 678, maggio/may 2000 [L’architetto e la talpa], pp. 26-29 (26-37)
William J.R. Curtis, "Una Conversación [con Alvaro Siza]/A Conversation [with Alvaro Siza]", El Croquis 95, 1999/II [Alvaro Siza. 1995 1999], pp. 6-21
Alejandro Zaera, "Salvando las turbulencias: entrevista con Alvaro Siza/Getting through turbulence: interview with Alvaro Siza", El Croquis 68-69, 1994/IV [Alvaro Siza. 1958 1994], pp. 6-31
Antonio Angelillo, "Santiago e Setúbal: conversazione con Alvaro Siza/Santiago and Setúbal: conversation with Alvaro Siza", Casabella 612, maggio/may 1994, pp. 11-12, 67-68 (4-17, 67-68)
Enrico Morteo, "Alvaro Siza. Il progetto come esperienza/Design as experience", Domus 746, febbraio/february 1993, pp. 17-28
Two Towers, 90 Years Álvaro Siza, Aedes Architecture Forum, ManhattanTwo Towers. 90 Years Álvaro Siza, Berlin (Germany), Aedes Architecture Forum, 27 may / 5 july 2023

World-renowned architect, author, draughtsman, designer and artist, Álvaro Siza from Porto has in many ways (re)defined contemporary architecture. He set out a path that is both modern and historically rooted, international and site-specific, monumental and self- effacing. Siza has been honoured with the highest international awards and his work has been exhibited in major museums, leaving his mark all over the globe with buildings of all scales that have influenced the education of generations of architects.

Two Towers, 90 Years Álvaro Siza, Aedes Architecture Forum, ManhattanOne specific typology appeared to have eluded his seventy-year-long career: the tower. Through Siza's expressive sketches as well as photographs and models, this exhibition showcases the duality of two recently completed towers, which could not be more different despite their strikingly elegant simplicity: the deluxe residential tower of 611 West 56th Street, in the concrete jungle of Manhattan, and the eco-friendly watchtower of Proença-a-Nova, in the evergreen forest of Portugal. Each one works as a lookout into the wonderful and endless landscapes of New York and Naturtejo, a UNESCO Geopark between Lisbon and Porto. After all, Álvaro Siza's towers are less about height and more about foresight.

This coming June, Álvaro Siza celebrates his 90th birthday and yet continues to actively participate in the international discourse and design of our shared built environment.

Siza has designed several towers since 1979, yet most are unbuilt or unspoken projects. Perhaps because towers are a kind of taboo in his home country Portugal, so much so that they are considered illegal by nearly all city ordinances, or maybe because southern topography and climate favour a more telluric approach, which emphasizes horizontal lines. New York, on the other hand, is like a dream, where everything is vertical and thrusts from the ground like trees. That is how Álvaro Siza describes it since his initial trip to the United States, roughly half a century ago.

His newest tower in Manhattan (2014–22), standing at 137 meters tall, may seem modest in comparison to New York's ever-growing skyline, but it's enough to "caress the sky rather than scrape it", according to Siza. His towers are hence instruments for renewing and restructuring territories, such as the neighbourhood of 611W56, expanding vertically to make room for public spaces that allows for the social engagement of communities – on the corner of 11th avenue – and the implementation of garden areas – on the 2nd floor courtyard. The tower bears a vague resemblance to an anthropomorphic sculpture, its long neck and cantilevered head clad in limestone, with a double herringbone pattern.

The watchtower in Proença-a-NovaTwo Towers, 90 Years Álvaro Siza, Aedes Architecture Forum, Proença-a-Nova (2018–21) is powered by solar panels and rises at the summit of a mountain range called Serra das Talhadas. It might only be 16 meters tall, but it sits 616 meters above sea level, overlooking the 50-million-year-old quartzitic crests of the surrounding geopark. This tower is meant to prevent the spread of wildfires, besides also working as a belvedere at the summit of an ambitious rock-climbing trail. Álvaro Siza composed the watchtower with squared overhanging slabs and rounded corners. The floor plan distils the structure to its most essential shape: a cross grid, not unlike the neighbouring crucifix.

An identical logic had been applied to 611 West 56th Street, where the Hippodamian grid of New York was translated onto the façade: avenues become pillars and blocks become windows. Both towers are strategically placed on the edge, perching above the entrance and opening their corners to shift whole panoramas inward, framed by glass in Manhattan or defying gravity in Proença-a-Nova.

The exhibition
Sketches, 3D-mockups, models, and photos illuminate Álvaro Siza's passion for towers and fascination with reaching for the sun, while simultaneously focusing on two case studies and their diverging traits: one is taller and the other is shorter, one is private, and the other is public, one is for dwelling, and the other is for protection, one is urban, and the other is rural, one is in reinforced concrete and the other in lightweight steel frame. The multimedia exhibition also includes interviews and objects designed by Siza in different contexts, like a set of rattan woven chairs designed for Camerich, an Aedes Cooperation Partner. The exhibition is curated by architect António Choupina.

Two Towers, 90 Years Álvaro Siza, Aedes Architecture Forum, Manhattan, Proença-a-Nova
In/disciplina / In/discipline, Porto (Portugal), Fundação de Serralves / The Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art, 19 september 2019 / 2 february 2020

Alvaro Siza. Beyond Architecture, Hangzhou (China), China Design Museum, 8 april / 8 july 2018
Gabriele Basilico (photos), Álvaro Siza (drawings), Matosinhos. Non c’è spazio né architettura senza luce, Reggio Emilia (Italy), Vicolo Folletto Art Factories, 5 may / 9 july 2017
Alvaro Siza. Sacro, Roma, MAXXI, 9 november 2016 / 26 march 2017

Visions of the Alhambra - Álvaro Siza, Toronto (Canada), Aga Khan Museum, 23 july 2016 / 8 january 2017
Francesco dal Co (ed.), “I Modi” di Giulio Romano e i modi di Carlo Scarpa e Álvaro Siza, Venezia, Fondazione Querini Stampalia, 11 march / 15 may 2016
Coin, îlot, quartier, villes. Álvaro Siza à Berlin et à La Haye / Corner, Block, Neighbourhood, Cities. Álvaro Siza in Berlin and The Hague, Montréal, CCA. Centre Canadien d’Architecture / Canadian Centre for Architecture, 24 september 2015 / 7 february 2016
Álvaro Siza. Inside the Human Being, Rovereto (Italy), MART - Museo d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto, 4 july 2014 / 8 february 2015
Alvaro Siza Vieira, Viagem Sem Programa, Cervia, Magazzino del Sale TorreÁlvaro Siza. Viagem sem Programa. Disegni e Ritratti, Cervia (Italy), Magazzino del Sale Torre, 6 / 22 march 2020 7 june 2020

Álvaro Siza. Viagem sem Programa. Disegni e Ritratti, Siena (Italy), Santa Maria della Scala, 6 june / 6 october 2019

Alvaro Siza Vieira, Viagem Sem Programa, Siena, Santa Maria della ScalaThe travelling exhibition “Álvaro Siza. Viagem sem Programa” opened in Siena on June 6th. It’s curated by Greta Ruffino and Raul Betti and organized by the Municipality of Siena and ProViaggiArchitettura. The exhibition was a side event of the 13th International Architecture Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia. Previously shown in the cities of Lisbon (2018), Reggio Emilia (2017) Dubrovnik and Zagreb (2013), it is now on display at Santa Maria della Scala until 8 September.

The exhibition includes portraits and travel drawings – created over a period of more than 60 years by the architect Siza who personally chose them – a video-documentary and unpublished contents presented on this particular occasion.
The project originated from the many meetings that the two curators had with Álvaro Siza at his studio in Porto. In addition to highlighting his extraordinary eidetic memory, it narrates his activity as an architect and chiefly the personal side of his life. Beginning with drawings made by Siza during his youth, then the frequent trips to Italy and abroad, the most recent dinners with friends, and relaxing moments free from the burden of work. The narrative is broadened with memories, meetings, ironic notes and views pertaining to that extraordinary "journey without a plan", which is life itself. Hence the creation of a unique, unpublished project, firstly through the digital restoration of the drawings that retrieve the traits and marks of each sketch and then return it to paper – via typo ink print technique with one-ff plate (prints personally authenticated by Siza - 53 works, 1/1 copy) – in order to reveal his technical growth and sensitivity in perceiving reality.

Alvaro Siza Vieira, Viagem Sem Programa, Siena, Santa Maria della ScalaIn Siena – a city studied and depicted in his notebooks – Álvaro Siza’s drawings interact with the evocative atmosphere of the Magazzini della Corticella inside Santa Maria della Scala thanks to the installation set up by Dumbo Design Studio in cooperation with Graniti Fiandre (formerly ADI Design Index Selection 2018 in the Exhibition Design category for the show at FAB - Fiandre Architectural Bureau in 2017) which includes varied areas and accompanies visitors on a tour that reveals the most intimate and personal aspect of human nature incorporated with design culture.
Large lecterns – with ceramic-based surfaces and structures designed purposely for this exhibition – present the works of the Portuguese architect and create a highly intimate and welcoming atmosphere. The exhibition also includes two video installations: the interview carried out by the curators in Siza's studio with a background of particularly significant areas of Porto and Lisbon (presented at the Milan Design Film Festival in 2017) and Atelier XYZ’s video-installation that virtually leads the viewer to the shores of the Atlantic Ocean with a view point from the Boa Nova Casa da Cha restaurant (designed by Siza 1958/1963), amid the rock formations of Leça de Palmeira. The exhibition dedicated to Álvaro Siza's drawings also proposes – as already presented in other showings – a wide selection of photographs (here in small analog video frames) chosen from the hundreds of shots taken over the years by the two curators and friends and enthusiasts that narrate the origin of the project to the present and the countless contacts generated, which often go far beyond professional activities.

Álvaro Siza. Viagem sem Programa. Maio em Lisboa, Lisbon [Lisboa], Atelier Aires Mateus, 1 / 31 may 2018
Álvaro Siza. Viagem sem Programa, FAB Castellarano, Reggio Emilia (Italy), 9 june / 7 july 2017
Álvaro Siza. Viagem sem Programa. The Croatian Experience, Dubrovnik (Croatia), Galerija Umjetnička (Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art), 26 april / 26 may 2013
Álvaro Siza. Viagem sem Programa, Venezia, Fondazione Querini Stampalia, 29 august / 11 november 2012 [ » read more ]
Álvaro Siza. Disegni e pensieri, Milano, Galleria Jannone, 5 / 30 november 2011
Alvaro Siza Vieira, Enna, Opere e progettiÁlvaro Siza. Opere e progetti in mostra, Enna, Castello di Lombardia - Palazzo Militello - Galleria Civica - Torre di Federico II, 15 july/15 september 2011
Álvaro Siza. Von der linie zum raum, Neuss (Germany), Stiftung Insel Hombroich, 18 june 2011 / 4 march 2012 | extended 10 june 2012
Marco Introini (photo), La museografia di Siza
Bergamo, Atelier Bruno Vaerini, 9 october/9 november 2009
Milano, Ordine degli Architetti, 14/30 april 2010
Trieste, Sala degli Incanti-Ex Pescheria, 23 july/7 august 2010
Álvaro Siza Architetto, Lecce, Museo Provinciale S. Castromediano - Vernole, Castello di Acaya, 12 july/30 october 2008
La costruzione della Bellezza, Venezia, Sala mostre "Gino Valle", ex cotonificio veneziano, 6 february/28 february 2008
Álvaro Siza, Mendrisio (CH), AAM - Accademia di Architettura, Villa Argentina, 19 september/25 november 2007
Alvaro Siza au Thoronet, Marseille, Maison de l'Architecture et de la Ville PACA, 29 june/31 october 2007
Álvaro Siza, Athína (Athens), Benaki Museum, 19 april/17 may 2007
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