Article

Siza Vieira, Álvaro (1933–) By Soeiro, Diana

DOI: 10.4324/9781135000356-REM2083-1
Published: 18/04/2019
Retrieved: 19 May 2019, from
https://www.rem.routledge.com/articles/siza-vieira-alvaro-1933

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Abstract

The architect Álvaro Siza Vieira (1933–) was born in Porto, Portugal. He graduated from the University of Porto (now known as the Faculdade de Arquitectura, Universidade do Porto – FAUP) in 1955. While still a student in 1954 he built four houses in his home town, Matosinhos, where he opened his own private practice. Between 1955 and 1958 he collaborated with his former teacher, Fernando Távora (1923–2005). During the 1960s he designed and built a swimming pool project (Leça da Palmeira, Porto) that caught the attention of the public. He was invited to lecture at the university from 1966–69. In 1976 he returned to teaching and shortly afterwards, in 1979, the university was renamed the FAUP, following the establishment of democratic government after the end of dictatorship (1926–74) under Oliveira Salazar (1889–1970). The FAUP sought to instigate the principles of Modernism based on the architect’s individual character, i.e. not according to the prevailing Soft Portuguese style. Three individuals became identified with the new FAUP, known as the Porto School of Architecture: Távora, Siza Vieira, and one of his students, Eduardo Souto Moura (1952–; winner of the Pritzker Prize in 2011). In the new era of democracy that flourished in Portugal, in 1977 he planned 1,200 low-cost housing units in Évora, for the national housing association, the Serviço Ambulatório de Apoio Local.

The architect Álvaro Siza Vieira (1933–) was born in Porto, Portugal. He graduated from the University of Porto (now known as the Faculdade de Arquitectura, Universidade do Porto – FAUP) in 1955. While still a student in 1954 he built four houses in his home town, Matosinhos, where he opened his own private practice. Between 1955 and 1958 he collaborated with his former teacher, Fernando Távora (1923–2005). During the 1960s he designed and built a swimming pool project (Leça da Palmeira, Porto) that caught the attention of the public. He was invited to lecture at the university from 1966–69. In 1976 he returned to teaching and shortly afterwards, in 1979, the university was renamed the FAUP, following the establishment of democratic government after the end of dictatorship (1926–1974) under Oliveira Salazar (1889–1970). The FAUP sought to instigate the principles of Modernism based on the architect’s individual character, i.e. not according to the prevailing Soft Portuguese style. Three individuals became identified with the new FAUP, now known as the Porto School of Architecture: Távora, Siza Vieira, and one of his students, Eduardo Souto Moura (1952–; winner of the Pritzker Prize in 2011). In the new era of democracy that flourished in Portugal, in 1977 he planned 1,200 low-cost housing units in Évora, for the national housing association, the Serviço Ambulatório de Apoio Local.

Siza Vieira and Souto Moura worked together on Expo ’98 (Lisbon), Expo 2000 (Hannover), and the Serpentine Pavilion (2005). In 1992 he was awarded the Pritzker Prize for the renovation project he coordinated in the Chiado area of Lisbon, a historic downtown commercial sector, which had been completely destroyed by fire in August 1988. Siza Vieira has been a Kenzo Tange Visiting Professor at the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University, as well as at the University of Pennsylvania, the Los Andes University of Bogota, and at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne. From 1999 onwards his international career expanded and took him to Europe, South America, and Cape Verde. Related to his practice is his love of writing and drawing (his first interest as a child) which he considers to be part of his creative process, and he holds that all these aspects of his work must be seen as a whole.

Main works

  • Boa Nova Tea House (Porto, 1963)

  • Faculty of Architecture (Porto, 1987–93)

  • Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art (Porto, 1997)

Selected prizes

  • Golden Medal – Superior Council of Architecture of the College of Architects of Madrid (1988)

  • Mies van der Rohe Award for European Architecture (1988)

  • Prince of Wales Prize in Urban Design – Harvard University (1988)

  • Alvar Aalto Medal (1988)

  • Portugal’s National Prize of Architecture (1993)

  • Arnold W. Brunner Memorial Prize – American Academy of Arts and Letters (1998)

  • Praemium Imperiale (1998)

  • Wolf Prize in Arts (2001)

  • Golden Lion Award – Venice Architecture Biennale, for the Iberê Camargo Foundation in Brazil (2002)

  • Urbanism Special Grand Prize of France (2005)

  • Cultural Merit Order Medal – Brazil (2007)

  • Royal Gold Medal – Royal Institute of British Architects (2009)

  • Gold Medal – International Union of Architects (2011)

  • Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement – 13th International Architecture Exhibition (2012)

References and further reading

  • Cecilia, F.M. (2008) El Croquis 140: Alvaro Siza 2001–2008, Madrid: El Croquis.

  • Frampton, K. (2006) Alvaro Siza: Complete Works, London and New York: Phaidon.

  • Levene, R.C. and Cecilia, F.M. (2010) El Croquis 68/69 + 95 Alvaro Siza, Madrid: El Croquis.

  • Siza, A. and Castanheira, C. (2009) Álvaro Siza: The Function of Beauty, London and New York: Phaidon.

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Published

18/04/2019

Article DOI

10.4324/9781135000356-REM2083-1

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Citing this article:

Soeiro, Diana. "Siza Vieira, Álvaro (1933–)." The Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism. : Taylor and Francis, 2016. Date Accessed 19 May. 2019 https://www.rem.routledge.com/articles/siza-vieira-alvaro-1933. doi:10.4324/9781135000356-REM2083-1

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