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ALVARO SIZA

“Architecture is increasingly a problem of use and reference to models

established language and does not establish a language. It is a response to a concrete problem, a situation in transformation in which I participate.”

My architecture does not have a pre-

Alvaro Siza, was a Portuguese born architect, who is considered one of Portugal’s greatest modernist architects. His works are internationally known for their clarity and simplism, as Oriol Bohigas stated, “Siza’s work is always based on unity of space and volume an absolute coherence of function and form.

His first designs to get more attention where public pools in Portugal.

Most of his well-known works are located in his home town Porto.

He was strongly influenced by the works of architects like Adolf Loos, Frank Lloyd Wright and Alvar Aalto.

Design Language:

His language is more distinguishable by the use of more lines than perfect forms, it interests him the fragmentation as reaction to the complexity of a program, Siza’s thought is not linear, absolute and definitive.

The solution can be found in the syllogistic duality between what remains constant and what is presented as innovation.

Both the premises value the existence and the absence of “belonging”, keeping in mind the tremendous context of: the location, the program, the material, the morpho-typological values of other works, the expression of color and curve, et cetera.

Alvaro Siza's style and approach to modern design by returning to original sources has made him one of the most important representatives of critical regionalism in architecture.

His works were often defined as poetic modernism.

He has been able to develop its own language, not only influenced by international modernist references but also by traditional Portuguese ones, which resulted in refined, unique and detailed works of Portuguese modernism, from which stands out the Boa Nova Tea House in Leça da Palmeira near Oporto.

Design Process:

Siza has a very interesting way of designing his projects which ensures he never fails to attract the attention of visitors. The starting point for his design process is found in the site that the project is situated in but this is faced with an a priori theory, the project is emphasized either through thorough examination of the nature surrounding the site, seeking a similar proportion and simplicity of the nature, or it is found in the man-made work that is already in the surrounding. Alvaro Siza’s designs complement and enhance the surrounding by the simplicity of the designs, which also contrast with the nature by otherness which is also complemented sometimes in the form of the design through the use of geometric shapes in the plans. Although Siza tries to soften this alterity and contrast between man-made and nature, by adding in plants and trees that grow across the buildings.

Overall, Alvaro Siza has a unique and fascinating way of designing architecture. His wide knowledge of Modernist architects made an enormous impact on his designs which could be seen in many projects stated above. His interaction with nature makes his architecture influential and have a clarity to them.

Case stusy:

In many of Alvaro Siza projects, you can see the connection between Siza and Alvar Aalto which was also a successful Finnish Modernist architect.

Alvar Aalto and Alvaro Siza both link their projects with the nature and in some sought, harmonize the landscape. They both look for a balanced connection between man’s interventions with the existing nature which is what dominates in their design processes and works.

Their design processes begin by examining the site which formulate their ideas.

Boa Nova Teahouse, is one of Siza’s earliest projects which was constructed in 1964, sits on the edge of a rocky environment looking out into the Atlantic Sea. The tea house was influenced by Alvar Aalto’s project, with its organic form and the strong relationship with the topography of the surroundings.

‘Free and natural way it becomes part of the landscape’ (Siza, 1964) The Teahouse was widely influenced by Aalto’s Villa Mairea which was constructed in 1940, who also focused on the topography of the nearby forest to determine the design.

Siza took major influence from the range of materials that Alvar Aalto used to construct the Villa, concrete that was later painted white is seen in both projects as well as the use of wood in the exterior.

When studying both of the projects, you can see the major commonalities throughout the projects and the colours are also very similar.

both of the projects, you can see the major commonalities throughout the projects and the colours