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